Carlyle hires Neutrogena exec for cosmetics firm

The Carlyle Group has chosen Michael McNamara as the new chief executive officer for philosophy, the upscale cosmetics brand it acquired in January.

The 20-year old private equity firm has hired Michael McNamara to replace philosophy founder Cristina Carlino. Carlino will become the cosmetic company’s executive chairman and shift her focus to areas including creative development and product innovation, according to a statement.

McNamara has more than 30 years of experience in related industries. He most recently served from 1999 to 2006 as the global president of Nuetrogena, the skincare brand owned by Johnson & Johnson. He has also held marketing and management positions with Procter & Gamble, Schering Plough, Gillette and Noxell.

In a statement, Carlyle managing director and head of its consumer and retail team, Sandra Horbach, said, “Michael is an extremely talented executive who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to philosophy. At Neutrogena, he quadrupled the brand’s sales, while also retaining and reinforcing its distinct brand identity and emotional relevance to consumers.”

philosophy’s line of skincare, bath, fragrance, makeup and hair products is sold worldwide at stores including Sephora, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Harrod’s, Selfridges, and Space NK.

In addition to its acquisition of philosophy, for which financial terms weren’t disclosed, Carlyle’s consumer and retail division completed two major buyouts in the last two years. In June 2006, the group purchased Omaha, Nebraska-based Oriental Trading Company, a direct marketer of party and school supplies, for an undisclosed amount from Brentwood Associates. In December 2005, it purchased Dunkin’ Brands – whose restaurants include coffee and donut franchise Dunkin’ Donuts and ice cream franchise Baskin Robbins – for $2.4 billion along with Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners.