In this leadership role, Rao will help to drive connectivity and innovation across Vantage’s global personal care technical teams, as well as provide functional excellence to ensure that it provides optimal support for its customers.
Rao started her career in R&D and Innovation leadership at Alpharma Inc. and Lonza Inc. working in beauty, personal care, hygiene and nutrition, as well as building relationships with the independent and multinational brands. Later, she joined StriVectin Operating Company where she was the vice president of product development & regulatory affairs building the innovation strategy to propel growth of the brand. At her most recent B2C position as the chief technology officer of High Ridge Brands, she transformed the organization to build an innovation pipeline for multiple brands spanning multiple beauty categories (skin, hair and oral care). During her tenure, she has built high-caliber global teams to elevate brands with disruptive technologies and creativity. She is a Board Member for a non-profit beauty organization and active in multiple cosmetic focused technical organizations as well as is passionate about mentoring future technical leaders.
“We continue to reinvest in our technology organization at Vantage”, stated Allison Yake, chief technology officer Vantage Specialty Chemicals Inc. “Smitha’s creativity, product innovation expertise and significant experience in building brand equity is key in order to lead our Personal Care technology organization and help drive the growth of our business.”