Big Changes at OPI

Incoming OPI CEO Mary van Praag

Coty Inc. announced today that George Schaeffer is retiring from his position as CEO of OPI, effective December 31, 2013. Schaeffer, an Eastern European immigrant, founded the company in 1981. Under his leadership, OPI grew into a nail products leader, revolutionizing the industry with its technological advances and creative innovations. In late 2010, OPI was acquired by beauty industry giant Coty, and Schaeffer remained onboard as CEO.

Stepping into Schaeffer’s role on January 1, 2014, will be Mary van Praag, who served as vice president of sales at Coty in New York from 2008 to 2011, and was subsequently promoted to general manager of Coty Canada. In this capacity, she has been overseeing the Coty Prestige and Coty Beauty units. van Praag’s business background is extensive; prior to coming to Coty, she worked for Johnson & Johnson, Revlon, Pfizer and Playtex Products. The accomplished and dynamic van Praag is passionate about building more strong female leaders. Like her predecessor, she is deeply involved in philanthropic causes. This year, she is co-chairing Mirror Ball 2013 in Toronto, a fundraiser supporting Look Good Feel Better and FacingCancer.ca.

OPI president John Heffner is also stepping down from OPI. Effective November 22, 2013, Heffner, who served as CEO of Creative Nail Design (CND) prior to going to OPI, will take on the title of CEO at Irvine, California-based DryBar, a growing hair service chain that specializes in blowouts. Heffner is replacing DryBar CEO Michael Landau, who will stay on as executive chairman. Landau co-founded the company with chief creative officer Alli Webb.

“We could not be more thrilled to have John join our growing team,” Landau expressed in a recent statement. “With almost 2,000 employees and approaching 40 locations, John’s leadership experience will be critical in taking Drybar to the next level of growth.”

The departures of Heffner and Schaeffer from OPI are reportedly unrelated.