Erica Culpepper has a big new gig: General Manager, IT Cosmetics, U.S., L’Oréal’s number-two luxury make up brand in the U.S., behind Lancôme.
In this role, which she assumed in November, Erica leads IT Cosmetics’ U.S. go to market strategy, including all brand marketing, digital/social/content, and omni channel sales including offline, online, and QVC. Plans include continuing to accelerate market share gains with an ambition to become the number-one foundation in America. Erica’s key priorities include team building, scaling advocacy and influencers, and bringing the magic back into stores.
“Scaling the brand is my obsession, along with our advocacy and influencer strategy, and figuring out how we can scale that to have much more of an impact. We are planning to reach more influencers, seed more products than ever before, even triple the number of products we seed. My third goal is to bring the magic back to stores and delight our consumers by increasing the number of people we have servicing them,” says Erica.
IT Cosmetics is L’Oréal’s largest acquisition to-date in a landmark $1.2 billion deal made in 2016.
Erica has is also focusing on team building.
“The [social environment] has been volatile over the past couple of years. But now is the time for us to dream big and think big. To bet on it and believe in it, because if you really believe that something is possible, it’s going to happen. I wanted to come in and really start working on shifting the mindset and believing in something bigger and having us unite around that. That was the first thing I had to do, build us as a cohesive team and then give us stretch goals on top of already what we had.”
In terms of distribution, Erica sees room to grow within Sephora and department stores, and nurture partnerships in Ulta Beauty, Macy’s, and Amazon. New product launches are planned too, but marketing transformational benefits is how Erica looks to land consumers. “That’s really the basis of the brand, being a brand that’s going to provide transformation.”
A firm believer in everyone showing up as their personal best in the workplace, Erica will continue to drive the brand’s Confidence at Work platform to provide accessibility to confidence-building resources, while also supporting women-owned businesses in underserved communities.
Erica’s extensive beauty background spans 18 years at L’Oréal USA across brands including L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier, and most recently as General Manager, Next Big Brands, including Carol’s Daughter, SoftSheen Carson and Thayer’s Natural Remedies. Prior to L’Oréal, Erica was with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Division leading the company’s entry into anti-aging with RoC Skincare and managing the adult skin care initiatives on Johnson’s Baby.
Erica is an inclusive leader dedicated to building cultures of belonging – both in and out of the office. She has been awarded the prestigious Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Achiever Award, named an Elite 100 Woman Leader by Diversity Woman’s Magazine, and an Ulta Beauty MUSE 100. She serves on the Board of Governors for CEW and Advisory Board for L’Oréal Women of Color Think Tank.
Erica reports to Megan Grant, President of the L’Oréal Luxe Division, and replaced Amy Whang, who was named President of Maybelline New York, Garnier, Essie in November 2022.