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OPI Founder Schaeffer Retires, Heffner Exits

December 3, 2013

Coty has announced the retirement of OPI Founder and CEO George  Schaeffer. Schaeffer, who will continue to work with OPI’s management team through a newly created role as OPI’s strategic board advisor, will focus on The Schaeffer Family Foundation and multiple charities that support health-related causes and children’s education.

Coty has appointed Mary van Praag to general manager of OPI. She will begin her new role on Jan. 1, 2014, replacing John Heffner, who has left the organization to pursue other career interests. Van Praag had successfully led Coty’s mass channel sales organization in the US for three years, after which she was promoted to her current role managing Coty’s business in Canada. She has been instrumental in turning Coty Canada’s mass channel business around as well as building and developing a stronger organization, according to the company.

Since founding OPI in 1981, Schaeffer has built one of the beauty industry’s most iconic and successful nail care brands. With a portfolio of more than 400 creatively-named unique shades, OPI has for the past three decades linked fashion and entertainment with color cosmetics. 

“George puts his heart into everything that he does: the OPI business, the professional nail care industry and his philanthropy,” said Michele Scannavini, CEO, Coty Inc. “I would like to thank George for his commitment over the years and wish him continued success in the future.”    
“George is a visionary leader and entrepreneur,” said Renato Semerari, president, Coty Beauty. “I am very thankful for his leadership in making OPI such an iconic brand and for his help in making OPI become an integral part of the Coty family. I’m extremely pleased that he will remain involved in OPI’s future.”

“The OPI Brand is my baby, which I have loved and nurtured for many years, and will continue to do so,” said Schaeffer. “I look forward to working together with Mary and Suzi (OPI Executive VP and Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann) and expanding OPI’s presence worldwide.”  
Coty acquired OPI in 2010 in a deal that was valued at approximatelty $1 billion.
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