'Passed the baton'
Mr. Stahl, who in a company statement said he has "passed the baton" after four years in order to pursue other interests, has led the $1.3 billion cosmetics behemoth through financial losses over the last three years and was most recently forced to cut earnings projections for Revlon's second quarter after bullish predictions of retail success for its over-50 line, Vital Radiance, and the restaging of the Almay brand didn't pan out.
The second quarter loss of $87 million -- almost half of it from Vital Radiance -- was, some say, the final straw for Mr. Stahl, coming as it did just as many believed Revlon had at last turned a corner. According to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Chappell, Mr. Stahl was likely blindsided by today's news -- he recently purchased 250,000 shares of Revlon stock, a move he would have been unlikely to make if choosing to depart this month.
But with Revlon's stock price down 56% this year, the board clearly felt it had to act despite Mr. Chappell's belief that "the worst is behind [Revlon]" and the fact that Vital Radiance and Almay sales have begun to pick up.
Revived Revlon International
Mr. Kennedy, 59, is credited by Mr. Perelman as having returned Revlon's international operations to profitability during his tenure as president of Revlon International that began in 2002 and ended when Mr. Kennedy became CFO in March of this year. Clearly, Mr. Perelman hopes Mr. Kennedy can do the same for Revlon's U.S. business, before it's too late. L'Oreal Paris, among other competitors, continues to chip away at Revlon's share of the U.S. cosmetics market.
Mr. Stahl will stay at Revlon for a 30-day transition period while Mr. Kennedy takes over the reigns.