Scent of a Shakeup: Baxter Said Leaving Lauder for LVMH

Pamela Baxter, president of Estée Lauder’s specialty group, is said to be taking a top job at LVMH, overseeing its U.S. beauty units.

The American Designer Fragrances unit, a division of Parfums Givenchy Inc., spawned under McDonald’s direction in 1999. Within three years, McDonald built a thriving fragrance business, with a projected global wholesale volume of $120 million. There was a chance of breaking even by yearend.

However, the sale of the brands this spring stripped back McDonald’s duties to management of Guerlain and Givenchy in the U.S. At the time, there was speculation in the market that McDonald would take a job at Lauder, Coty or L’Oréal. Rumors then began to grow that she would leave LVMH when the American Designer Fragrances unit was shut down. McDonald has been with LVMH since early 1998, after spending nearly a year at Chanel Beaute as senior vice president of sales. Prior to that, she was with Cosmair USA, now called L’Oréal USA, for 12 years, mostly as head of marketing in the Ralph Lauren Fragrances Division.

Baxter assumed her current role at Lauder in a reorganization of the company’s upper management in May 2001. Prior to her appointment as president, specialty group worldwide for Lauder, she served as general manager of Aramis and Tommy Hilfiger, and also assisted with the leadership of the La Mer, Jo Malone, Donna Karan Cosmetics and Kate Spade brands for Lauder. In her current role, she continues to have responsibility for the worldwide development of Prescriptives, La Mer, Jo Malone and Kate Spade Beauty.

Baxter joined Aramis in California as an account representative in 1981. She transferred to New York in 1990 to lead the development of the Tuscany per Donna fragrance, which was launched in 1993. The following year, she was named vice president of marketing for Aramis, and became the brand’s national sales manager in 1995. She was named to her post as general manager of Aramis and Tommy Hilfiger in 1997.
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