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Huda Beauty: Huda Kattan Steps Down and Appoints New CEO

posted on: Nov 12, 2020

By: Sophia Segal/Arab America Contributing Writer

Huda Kattan is a self-made beauty icon, she is the daughter of two Iraqi immigrants that made their way to the US. Her parents came to the States to teach biology and study Mechanical Engineering. The inspiration for makeup came from her older sister, she began with makeup at an early age and by 2010 she started a beauty blog; this reached worldwide mainstream fame within a couple of years. She gave beauty hacks, tips, and cult products. But now the Huda Beauty blog boasts 45 million views each year and her makeup line is stocked in more than 1500 stores worldwide.

In 2013, Huda Beauty launched the always sold out false lashes. They were born because Kattan wasn’t able to find what she was looking for in the market. This led to her creating and making her own lashes. Today, Huda Beauty doesn’t just offer lashes but includes mascara, eyeliner, liquid lipstick, highlighter palettes, foundations, and a coveted collaboration with Tweezerman.

But as this billon dollar beauty empire continues to grow, this year Huda Kattan has decided to step down as CEO.

Why the change?

When Huda Kattan announced that she was stepping down as CEO, everyone wondered who was going to take over and what this meant for the beauty company and Huda Kattan.

Nathalie Kristo has been announced as the new CEO. Kristo has been the president of the company’s North American division since 2018 when she helped set up the brand’s U.S. offices. Although Kattan has stepped down as CEO she will continue to be in charge of the creative side of the business.

When she created the company all those years ago, she never planned on being on leading the business herself. She explained on her youtube channel how she became a beauty mogul by accident. But this decision didn’t come out of thin air, it’s been years in the making. Flash forward to 2018, Kattan knew that the company had gotten to a much better place and that’s when she knew it was time to find somebody to take the role of CEO and allow herself to be the founder that she always wanted to be.

In a statement made in early September, Kattan said that being CEO felt her feeling bogged down and took the focus away from the creative side of the company, that part that she loves the most. “I never wanted to be CEO! Out of necessity, I quickly shifted into the CEO role and found I had to sacrifice being involved with some areas of business I enjoyed the most, which left me feeling unfulfilled”, said Kattan (Garazia Middle East).

Who is Nathalie Kristo?

In 2019, Kristo was made Global Deputy Chief Executive and was also heavily involved in Wishful-Huda Kattan’s skincare company. She has twenty years of experience in the beauty industry in roles such as Brand President of NYX Professional Makeup, Senior Vice President of marketing for L’Oreal Paris USA, and general manager of Maybelline New York and Garnier.

Nathalie said in an interview: “I have deep respect and admiration for the incredible business and movement that Huda Kattan and her family have created. I am honored to join forces with such an inspiring founder and continue to harness our digital leadership, unique global footprint, and total beauty expertise to grow the company into a global beauty powerhouse, which is deeply human at its core” (Garazia Middle East).

Nathalie graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Strategic Management and Finance from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She started her career with Procter & Gamble in her native Toronto, Canada. She now lives in Los Angeles, California with her family.

What’s next for Huda Beauty?

Huda Kattan says she’ll be more involved than ever. Although she stepped down as CEO, she is still the founder and Chairwomen at Huda Beauty. She says she can now focus more on creating products and content she’s passionate about and excited to share with the world.

At the end of her youtube video, she expressed, “I just want to give you guys the best product, the best content, the best knowledge always. The sky is the limit and we are going to do some amazing things together.”

We can’t wait to see what Huda Beauty and Nathalie Kristo bring to the table next year.

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