Sephora appoints new president and CEO

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Guillaume Motte has been appointed president and CEO of Sephora, as the beauty retailer continues to expand internationally. He moves over from parent company LVMH’s Fashion Group, where he has served as deputy chief executive under chairman and CEO Sidney Toledano since May 2021. 

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Motte, whose first role within LVMH was as CEO and president of Europe and Middle East at Sephora in 2018, where he stayed for three years before moving to the fashion division. Before joining LVMH, he was CEO of French menswear retailer Celio, and prior to that was chief exec at Dubai-based lifestyle retail company AI Tayer Trends and managing director at retail chain Fnac, which was part of PPR (now known as Kering) at the time. 

Motte replaces Chris de Lapuente, who has been in the role since former CEO Martin Brok made a surprise exit from Sephora in June. De Lapuente will now continue his position as chairman and CEO of the selective retailing division of LVMH, which includes Sephora, Parisian department store Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, luxury travel retailer DFS, cruise ship shopping destination Starboard Cruise Services and fine foods store La Grande Épicerie.

“I am delighted to welcome Guillaume back to Sephora as president and CEO. His experiences over the past two years in LVMH Fashion Group, alongside Sidney Toledano, have broadened his prestige brand building experience and deepened his already extensive retail and business skills at a global level,” said de Lapuente in a post on LVMH’s LinkedIn. “I have no doubt he will continue to build Sephora into the extraordinary premium beauty retailer we envision.”

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Inside Sephora’s plans for growth

What’s next for the beauty retail giant? Sylvie Moreau, Sephora president of Europe & the Middle East, says physical stores still have a big role to play.

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Sephora has a presence in 35 countries and has more than 2,700 stores. In October, the retailer reopened in the UK with an online store, a second attempt at cracking the market after a short run from 2000 to 2005. The company acquired British retailer Feelunique in 2021 and has transitioned the website to Sephora.co.uk to take advantage of the existing local consumer base. In June, Sephora launched its “China Accelebrate” business incubator programme which aims to grow premium Chinese beauty brands, and the company says expansion in Latin America and Asia is also underway.

The company has been focusing on dual digital and physical expansion with a focus on bricks-and-mortar since pandemic restrictions have lifted or eased. Sephora president of Europe and the Middle East Sylvie Moreau told Vogue Business earlier this month that she wants to raise its profile as a brand incubator for indie brands.

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