L’Oréal adds Google executive to Board of Directors


Eileen Naughton joins L’Oréal in a bid to increase online sales

L’Oréal has added Eileen Naughton, Google’s Vice-President and General Manager for the UK and Ireland, to its Board of Directors.

Naughton succeeds Louis Schweitzer, General Commissioner for Investment and former CEO of Renault, who has just turned 73 – the upper age limit set by the internal regulations of the Board. Her appointment will be confirmed at the company’s next general assembly on 20 April.

The move follows a call from L’Oréal’s board to bring someone from the internet giant on board. Online sales still account for just 5% of overall sales for the cosmetics company and it is keen to bring in more revenue through e-commerce channels.

L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon described Naughton’s appointment as “very important” for the company. Speaking at the group’s annual press conference in Clichy, he said: “We have chosen her because she is a great lady - very insightful, with great experience. It’s very important to have someone who can help the group navigate the digital world. I do not know if [internet giants] will one day be our competitors, but for now they are excellent partners.”

Agon added that digital added "fantastic new dimensions" to the beauty market, and cited the global phenomenon of selfies and social networks as particular growth drivers for make-up.

L’Oréal devoted a quarter of its communication budget to Internet spend last year, and has recruited 1,000 staff worldwide over the past three years to strengthen its digital presence.

Naughton joined Google in 2006 as vice-president of global sales, responsible for sales, development, media strategy and operations across YouTube and the Google Display Network. She was promoted to her current role in 2014.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

Prior to Google, Naughton worked at Time Warner, where she was president of the Time Group, and served as vice-president of investor relations during the AOL-Time-Warner merger. An American of Irish parentage, she holds bachelors and masters degrees in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the Wharton School.