Kao USA reorganizes mass business with two new promotions
Kao USA Inc., the U.S.-based subsidiary of Japan’s Kao Corporation has appointed Karen Frank as president of its mass business for the Americas and Europe, and Jesse Grissom as president of operations in the Americas.
Frank and Grissom will work together to lead the company’s mass business, which includes the Jergens, John Frieda Hair Care and Bioré brands.
Their appointments mark the implementation of a new organizational structure at the company, intended to establish clearer roles and responsibilities and empower faster decision-making.
Frank’s previous role at Kao USA was general manager of U.S. sales and marketing, as well as of innovation for the mass channel in the Americas and Europe. In her new position, she will now be directly responsible for the entire mass channel in the Americas and Europe.
The graduate of Miami University first joined Kao in 2009, stepping into the role of VP for U.S. mass marketing and global skin care. Prior to joining the company, Frank spent 11 years at Procter & Gamble, where she served as marketing director.
Grissom’s new role involves overseeing supply chain, HR, IT, legal and finance in the mass business segment, as well as the company’s Salon and Molton Brown businesses.
The executive has been at Kao USA for 16 years, having previously worked as regional executive officer and VP for finance, as well as corporate controller.
His previous experience also includes periods spent at Sara Lee Foodservice, PepsiCo and Kraft Foods Group in a range of finance and accounting roles.
Grissom, who has a BS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the University of Rochester, began his career as a financial analyst at RJ Reynolds.
Frank and Grissom’s appointments also represent two important diversity milestones for Kao USA, as Frank is the first woman to hold her position, while Grissom is the first African-American to hold his.
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