Retail and consumers

Sephora taps PepsiCo exec as chief marketing officer

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Dive Brief:

  • Sephora has tapped Zena Srivatsa Arnold as chief marketing officer, a role held by Deborah Yeh for more than seven years, until December.

  • Arnold will start the job in early summer, a Sephora spokesperson said by email. Most recently she led marketing teams for carbonated soft drinks at PepsiCo. Before that, she was chief marketing and chief digital officer at Kimberly-Clark.

  • Yeh is still with Sephora as global chief purpose officer, a title she has held since 2021, according to her LinkedIn page.

Dive Insight:

Facing stiff competition on and offline from fierce rival Ulta and even department stores and drugstores, Sephora employs a nimble marketing strategy based in part on loyalty and community-building.

The LVMH-owned beauty retailer introduced a members-only social platform in 2017 and continues to tweak its Beauty Insider programadding benefits in 2018 and then introducing extra rewards within months. More recently the company showed it also has its limits, when it introduced a $25 purchase minimum online for its birthday perk and curbed the number of birthday gifts that could be sent to one address per year.

In recent years Sephora dropped its affiliation with J.C. Penney, moving on to a similar partnership at Kohl’s. The retailer has characterized the tie-ups as opportunities to reach a different customer base. 

According the Sephora spokesperson, Arnold is a seasoned marketing executive who drove growth at PepsiCo by targeting younger consumers. She arrives just months after Guillaume Motte took the CEO reins, following last year’s departure of Martin Brok after less than two years; Chris de Lapuente led the company in the interim.


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