After 86 years as one of the world’s leading cosmetics brands, Revlon has appointed its first female president and CEO – Debra Perelman, the daughter of the company’s billionaire chairman Ronald Perelman.

Forty-four-year-old Debra has worked for the company for around 20 years and was, until her new appointment, the chief operating officer for the last four months and a board member since 2015.

In her new role she will focus “on enhancing Revlon’s consumer and customer focused approach, where personalisation, inclusion, usability and passion for beauty are the cornerstones”.
She will also be responsible “for driving Revlon’s efforts to further innovate through technology, enhance its iconic brand portfolio and invest in e-commerce as a growth driver”.

Debra said the company had been “a central part” of her personal and professional life for more than 20 years.

“I love Revlon not only as a company, but as a culture of employees and executives who are committed to delivering women and men the best products in our industry,” she said.

“Beauty has emerged as one of today’s most dynamic and fastest-growing industries and I look forward to working with Revlon’s world-class team to amplify our strategy and accelerate growth.

“I am committed to driving the company to compete and thrive in today’s dynamic environment and encouraging our talented team’s entrepreneurial spirit, agility and bold creativity.”

Commenting on his daughter’s appointment, Ronald Perelman said Debra’s global perspective, financial acumen and holistic approach to brands, consumers and technology will help Revlon reclaim its leadership position.

Revlon ‘Live Boldly’ campaign – Raquel Zimmermann, Ashley Graham, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Rina Fukushi

“I have always trusted Debbie to bring fresh vision, innovation and success to companies, and I have no doubt she will do the same for Revlon.

“Debbie’s extensive experience at both MacAndrews & Forbes [a company that acquires and manages a portfolio of public and private companies owned by him] and Revlon, as well as her track record for innovation and breaking paradigms to compete in today’s digital and consumer-first environment, make her the ideal leader for Revlon.

“She is thoughtful, team-oriented and decisive, and I can think of no better way to express MacAndrews & Forbes’ support of Revlon and belief in its future than by appointing Debbie to lead the company.”

Debra’s move to the top at Revlon is another signal that the company is changing to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving beauty market.

In January the company launched its ‘Live Boldly’ featuring five new global ambassadors − Gal Gadot, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam and Raquel Zimmermann − who “embody what it is to ‘Live Boldly’. ”

Although beautiful, the women are very different to the models such as Cindy Crawford, Christie Turlington, Claudia Schiffer and Helena Christensen that fronted the brand’s campaigns in the 1990s and the actresses that have featured in its campaigns since around 2000 (Halle Berry, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Alba, Emma Stone, Jessica Biel, Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Connelly).

Ashley Graham, a model who “uses her celebrity to challenge conventional perceptions and inspire women everywhere” said she was thrilled to be part of the new  “ground-breaking campaign” which features “different types of women across races, ages and sizes”.