Helen of Troy Limited has announced that its board of directors has appointed Julien Mininberg CEO, effective March 1, the beginning of the company’s new fiscal year. Mininberg, who currently serves as CEO and president of Helen of Troy’s healthcare/home environment segment, including Kaz and PUR operations, will succeed Gerald Rubin, who is stepping down as CEO and president of the company and resigning from the board of directors, effective immediately, to serve as CEO of River Oaks Properties Ltd., one of El Paso’s leading commercial real estate firms.
Thomas Benson, senior vp and CFO, will serve as interim CEO until Mininberg assumes that role.
The board also announced that it has decided to separate the roles of chairman and CEO. Effective immediately, the board has appointed Timothy Meeker, an independent director, to succeed Rubin as chairman of the board. The board intends to nominate Mininberg as a director to stand for election at the company’s 2014 annual meeting.
Mininberg has been with Kaz since 2006, becoming a divisional president in 2007 and CEO in 2010. Under his leadership, Kaz has made successful acquisitions, such as PUR water filters, and secured new licenses for brands such as Febreze. Before joining Kaz, Mininberg spent 15 years at Procter & Gamble.
Gary Abromovitz, deputy chairman and lead independent director of Helen of Troy, stated, in announcing the executive changes, “The board of directors has been actively engaged in ongoing succession planning and management development, and this leadership change is designed to ensure a smooth transition and position the company for the future. For the past several years, Julien has successfully led Helen of Troy’s largest business segment and brings extensive marketing and management experience from his more than 15 years at Procter & Gamble. With a strong track record of building market-leading multinational brands and organizations, operational expertise, and excellent management skills, we firmly believe that Julien is the ideal person to lead the company going forward.”
Abromovitz added, “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Jerry for his exceptional leadership and dedication over the past four decades. Jerry has built this company from the ground up – from a family business to a multinational organization with a diverse portfolio of businesses and revenues of nearly $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2013.”
Rubin said, “I am proud of the business we have created and honored to have led such a talented team of nearly 1,500 employees around the world. Together we have created a well-respected, world class global consumer products company, with a market capitalization of nearly $1.7 billion, with strong momentum for continued success in serving our consumers and retail partners. I am confident that I am leaving the company I co-founded in 1968 in a strong position to continue to grow and prosper. Julien is a talented leader with demonstrated success in building global businesses as well as fostering a winning culture.”
Mininberg said, “The company has a strong presence in its core markets and a talented organization. Each division has a portfolio of businesses and brands that deliver results through a deep understanding of their unique markets and can be leveraged as a platform for future growth as we look to deliver value to our shareholders.”