L'Oreal chief handed top role at The Body Shop

Sophie Gasperment, managing director of L'Oreal's consumer professional products division, is to take up the role of chief executive officer of The Body Shop.

The appointment of L'Oreal's most senior marketer in the UK is an indication of the French company's intention to integrate The Body Shop into its business. Its £652m acquisition of the firm last year caused shockwaves as the two companies are considered ethical opposites.

Gasperment, a L'Oreal veteran, replaces Peter Saunders, who is to become chairman. He takes over from Adrian Bellamy, who is retiring.

She will join The Body Shop in January and take up the position of chief executive in June after a transition period.

Gasperment has been managing director of L'Oreal for the past four years and has held a variety of senior positions at European and global level within the group, since she joined in 1986. She will be replaced at the cosmetics company by general manager Grita Loebsack.

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