Unilever Prestige CEO Vasiliki Petrou to Step Down


The founding chief executive behind Unilever’s Prestige division, Vasiliki Petrou, is leaving the company.

Petrou founded Unilever Prestige in 2014, overseeing the acquisition of 10 brands, including K18, for a portfolio that saw €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) of turnover in 2023. Among the brands in the portfolio, Dermalogica and Paula’s Choice are within Unilever’s 30 largest brands. The division has seen 13 consecutive quarters of growth.

“The idea of Unilever Prestige disrupted long-held paradigms and created a new to the world playbook of premium beauty acquisitions and sustainable long-term growth,” she wrote in a June 13 announcement on LinkedIn. Petrou’s last day will be July 30; she plans to open her own investment fund.

When sharing her investment philosophy onstage at The Business of Beauty Global Forum on June 4, Petrou discouraged founders from pursuing a fast exit. “A founder that wants to exit in four years – in all disclosure, if I were to hear this, I would never buy that brand,” she said. “If you have that frame of mind, it’s going to push you to make the wrong moves in terms of quick distribution, short-term tactics. When you are looking at a brand to buy, my first question to myself is, ‘Is it going to be around 10 to 15 years from now?’.”

Learn more:

The Business of Beauty Global Forum: Inside the Industry

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