Debra G. Perelman ’96 in conversation with Chris Kuenne ’85

Friday, May 7, 2021

 

 

Debra G. Perelman ’96

President and CEO, Revlon, Inc.

in conversation with

Chris Kuenne ’85

Founder and CEO, Rosemark Capital

 

with introductions and Q&A moderated by:

Anita Sands

James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship


About the Speakers

Debra Perelman '96Debra G. Perelman ’96

President and Chief Executive Officer, Revlon

Debra G. Perelman is President and Chief Executive Officer of Revlon and a member of its board of directors. Revlon is a beauty trendsetter in the world of color cosmetics and hair care, with a diversified portfolio of brands sold in approximately 150 countries around the world in most retail distribution channels, including prestige, salon, mass and online.

A thoughtful, team-oriented and decisive leader, Ms. Perelman is breaking paradigms to compete in today’s digital and consumer-first environment. During her tenure as president and CEO she has focused the business around three strategic pillars: rapidly accelerating e-commerce, doubling down on the iconic Revlon and Elizabeth Arden brands in their key markets of the US and China, and managing the company’s cost structure to improve profitability. Some key accomplishments under Ms. Perelman’s leadership include increasing the company’s e-commerce net sales penetration from low single-digits to 20 percent in Q4 2020, developing robust 3-year rolling product development pipelines across key brands, and implementing the 2018 Optimization and 2020 Revlon Restructuring Programs. Additionally, Ms. Perelman is actively driving strong corporate governance, ethics, corporate social responsibility and equity, inclusion and diversity. Under her leadership the company has established employee-led CSR and Inclusion and Diversity Councils which focus on the company’s overall contributions to society, and celebrate the diversity of Revlon’s employees, partners, consumers and surrounding communities around the world.

Ms. Perelman is recognized for her global perspective, financial acumen and deep passion for Revlon’s brands and products. She has a track record for driving innovation and actively seeks out partnerships to explore new ways to disrupt the industry.

Prior to being named president and CEO, Ms. Perelman served as chief operating officer of Revlon where she oversaw corporate strategy, brand innovation development and led Revlon’s ongoing digital transformation. Ms. Perelman began her career at Revlon, completing its management training program.

Along with her work at Revlon, Ms. Perelman served as a senior executive at MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, a company that acquires and manages a diversified portfolio of public and private companies. She most recently served as executive vice president, strategy and new business development, where she focused on new technology investment opportunities, strategy and portfolio management. During her tenure with MacAndrews & Forbes, she worked on deals to acquire Deluxe Entertainment, Clarke American, the John H. Harland Company and Valassis Communications.

Ms. Perelman is co-founder and vice chairman of the Child Mind Institute, an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. She also serves as a member of the President’s Advisory Council at Princeton University as well as the Board of Overseers at Columbia Business School.

Ms. Perelman holds a Masters of Business Administration in finance and accounting from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Princeton University.

 

Chris Kuenne '85Chris Kuenne ’85

Founder and CEO, Rosemark Capital

Chris Kuenne, founder of Rosetta and, later, Rosemark, is a highly successful entrepreneur, business builder, bestselling author and member of Princeton University’s faculty. For more than 30 years he has been fascinated by the question of what motivates people to act as they do in a commercial context. He has devoted his career to translating insights about customer motivation into personalized sales and marketing techniques that accelerate enterprise growth.

He is now focused with his colleagues at Rosemark on applying these growth techniques to build a family of interdependent companies in customer marketing, focused on enhancing consumer lifetime value through next gen personalization. He published a Wall Street Journal bestselling book entitled Built For Growth, with his Princeton colleague John Danner, on how the personality of the founder defines and shapes how new ventures grow and scale. Chris is a frequent speaker to various business leadership audiences, including the Young President’s Organization, venture capital associations, in addition to the American Council for Growth and the CFO Roundtable, among many others. He is an active contributor to Forbes and a range of other leading industry magazines and journals such as Advertising Age, Banking Strategies and Pharmaceutical Executive. He has also appeared on CNBC Street Signs, Forbes podcasts and other media outlets.

Prior to founding Rosetta, Chris co-led the retail marketing practice at First Manhattan Consulting Group, following 10 years in marketing management at Johnson & Johnson, where he led the Band Aid® and Tylenol® brand franchises. Chris serves on various corporate and nonprofit boards.

Chris received his MBA with honors from Harvard Business School, and his BA from Princeton. He and his late wife, Leslie, raised three sons, Peter, William and Matthew. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and Shelburne, Vermont.

 

Anita SandsAnita Sands

James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship

Anita Sands is a U.S. based board-director, advisor, and speaker. She holds an undergraduate degree in physics and applied mathematics, and a Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics from the Queen’s University of Belfast, along with a masters in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University, where she attended as a Fulbright scholar.

Anita spent a decade in leadership positions in financial services in Canada and the U.S., specializing in technology, innovation and enterprise transformation. She then pivoted into the technology sector and a portfolio career. She currently serves on the boards of directors of several public and private company boards in the technology, fintech and real estate sectors.

Anita is this year’s James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship at Princeton University and is also a regular contributor to Forbes.com on the topics of leadership and strategy. Hailing originally from Ireland, Anita splits her time between New Jersey and Dublin. She and her husband John are parents to preschooler Rosie, and five wonderful millennials.

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