Unilever Prestige CEO to depart after 10 years

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 14-Jun-2024

Vasiliki Petrou, who created the beauty giant’s Prestige Division which includes Paula’s Choice and K18, is leaving to create her own investment fund

Vasiliki Petrou is stepping down as CEO of Unilever’s Prestige Division after a decade at the helm.

Petrou, who created the consumer goods company’s Prestige Division in 2014, is leaving the business in July to set up her own investment fund. 

Under her leadership, the Prestige Division has experienced 13 consecutive quarters of volume-led growth thanks to its M&A strategy and in 2023 generated €1.4bn in turnover. 

Petrou has overseen the acquisition of ten brands in ten years, including premium skin care brand Dermalogica, ‘clean’ beauty line Paula’s Choice and biotech hair care K-18.

“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,” Petrou posted on LinkedIn. 

“Being the Unilever Prestige founder and CEO has been a great honour and I am proud of the many milestones we achieved together.

“On a personal level, as someone who believes in lifting and championing women, being a female leader in a division made up of 80% women has been an incredibly rewarding and inspirational experience.”

Murad, Kate Somerville, REN Clean Skincare, Garancia, Tatcha, Living Proof and Hourglass are the other beauty brands in Unilever’s Prestige stable.

“To each of the brand CEOs and the 3,000 people who make up the wider Prestige family – like I have always said, I truly believe that Unilever Prestige is part of something bigger,” added Petrou. 

“And I am so proud of the legacy we have created together.” 

Prior to Unilever, Petrou spent more than 18 years at rival beauty giant P&G, working in several leadership roles including Global MD.

Petrou’s successor at Unilever has not been announced. 

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