NEW YORK (AP) — When Debra Perelman took over as Revlon’s first woman CEO in its 89-year history in 2018, the global beauty company was already facing big challenges.
The publicly traded company, which is backed by her billionaire father Ron Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Inc., and which also owns iconic brands like Almay and Elizabeth Arden, had been struggling for years. That includes a heavy debt load, changing consumer tastes and intense competition, most recently from celebrity launches like Kylie Jenner-backed Kylie.
Revlon’s problems only intensified with the pandemic, which hurt sales of lipsticks as people masked up. Sales fell 21% to $1.9 billion in 2020. The company avoided bankruptcy late last year by persuading enough bondholders to extend its maturing debt.
It’s a big change from when Revlon in its heyday throughout much of the 20th century was the second largest cosmetics