Nadeau has been named to what Jean-Paul Agon, president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal USA, describes as “a new important position” in the Montreal-based L’Oréal Canada. In addition to being appointed president of the Canadian Luxury Products Division, Nadeau has been named to the newly created post of executive vice president of corporate communications and external relations, in effect L’Oréal’s ambassador to Canada. The appointment underscores the importance that Agon has attached to the task of raising L’Oréal’s profile and building its image in North America. It is a facet of the corporation that Agon feels is underdeveloped.
It also represents a homecoming for Nadeau, who began his career with L’Oréal in Canada, rising to senior vice president and general manager of the Luxury Product Division before transferring to New York nearly six years ago as senior vice president and general manager of Lancôme. He was named to his present post two years ago.
Nadeau acknowledged Thursday that when he came to the U.S. he had expressed a desire to return to Canada in five or six years. While admitting he will miss his friends and retail partners in the U.S., the trip back to Montreal will be “a return to my roots.”
“It is a really positive move for everybody,” Agon said, noting that Huber had held a parallel post in the U.K., where he was managing director of the Luxury Products Division before moving to New York in April 2002 and taking the helm of Kiehl’s. He joined L’Oréal in 1992.
Agon praised Huber’s performance in the U.K. and added that he has “done a good job at Kiehl’s.” The word “opportunity” does not even begin to cover the size of this step for Huber, who is going from being the leader of L’Oréal’s fledgling counterculture, Kiehl’s, to chief of the second-biggest group of department store brands, right behind Estée Lauder Cos., for 2002, according to consumer tracking firm NPD BeautyTrends.