JuE Wong, CEO, leaves Olaplex

by | Oct 16, 2023 | HAIR | 0 comments

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updated on October 12 at 4:25 p.m.

Olaplex, a troubled hair treatment company, announced JuE Wong’s resignation as CEO on Thursday.

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In January, Amanda Baldwin, most recently CEO of Supergoop, will succeed the seasoned beauty executive. John Bilbrey, the company’s executive chair of the board, will lead the organization in the meantime.

“We are thrilled to welcome Amanda as CEO of Olaplex. She is a leader in growing prestige beauty brands,” Bilbrey stated. “She is a skilled brand builder who has a solid grasp of consumer insights and analytics. She is the best individual to position Olaplex for long-term success because of her valuable combination of strengths in marketing, product development, and execution.

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“It is a privilege to join the company at this pivotal time in its evolution,” she said.

Olaplex, which gained a cult following for its products that strengthen bonds, has encountered difficulties as a result of increased competition and a lawsuit in which a number of plaintiffs claimed they had suffered personal injuries to their hair and scalp, including hair loss and damaged hair, which the company vehemently denies.

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To address both of these problems, the corporation increased its marketing expenditures, but this hasn’t had the expected result. Despite the dismissal of the lawsuit, pro stylist demand is still declining as a result of unfavorable news coverage, and competitors K18 and Redken Bonding are now receiving more attention and internet searches than before.

COURTESY OF AMAZON

These elements have led Olaplex, which went public through an IPO in 2021, to project net sales for the upcoming fiscal year of 2023 in the $445 million to $465 million range. This is under its original expectation by about $144 million.

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Net sales were $109.2 million for the second quarter that ended on June 30, a 48.2% decrease from the same period last year. Factset’s poll of analysts had predicted $130 million. Sales to consumers directly were $38.5 million, down 6.4 percent, and sales to specialized retailers were $29.8 million, down 53.7% from the same time last year.

Wong, who joined Olaplex in 2020 from Moroccanoil, an argan oil company, said: “It has been an honor to lead Olaplex through so many significant moments over the past three plus years.”

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Prior to that, she served as CEO of Astral Health, president of Elizabeth Arden, and CEO of StriVectin. “My time working for the firm has been an amazing journey, and I value the chance to support our staff, partners, designers, and professional stylists who have all contributed significantly to our success. I’m eager to watch what Olaplex achieves in the years to come and will continue to support the company wholeheartedly.The news didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the markets; the stock ended the day up 0.6 percent at $1.77. However, since making its debut on the stock market two years ago, when it topped $24 per share and valued the company at more than $15 billion, it has decreased by over 90%.

“Many investors believe a management change is necessary for a brand turnaround,” she said. “Olaplex has long indicated interest in entering the neighboring skin care area, so Baldwin’s background in that field is appealing. We think the company will benefit from her extensive expertise in a variety of marketing-related roles within the beauty industry as it strives to reinvent itself and rebuild brand perception.

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