April 18, 2019 / 4:47 PM / 6 months ago

Hermes CEO steps down from L'Oreal board over competing make-up line

FILE PHOTO: Hermes President Axel Dumas poses during the presentation of the new Hermes boutique in Rome, Italy October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

PARIS (Reuters) - French beauty group L’Oreal said on Thursday that Axel Dumas, the CEO of Birkin-bag maker Hermes, had resigned as a board member as the luxury group starts work on its own line of cosmetics.

L’Oreal said his departure was “due to the recent announcement by Hermes of the launch of a cosmetics line that may represent a possible conflict of interest.”

Dumas confirmed in March that Hermes, which is principally known for its leather handbags but also already operates in perfumes, was due to branch into make-up by 2020, with skincare products due later.

It will do its own manufacturing rather than licence out production, leaning on suppliers in France and Italy.

L’Oreal, which holds the cosmetics licences for fashion brands like Armani, said that investors present at its shareholder meeting on Thursday had approved the appointment of Fabienne Dulac, CEO of Orange France, to the board.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Bate Felix

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