Agile Response Keeps Dot-Com Fresh

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In a sense, Virginia "Ginger" Kent's career has come full circle, from Procter & Gamble Co. brand manager to heading a P&G Internet venture, and from marketing Play-Doh to marketing make-up.

Along the way, however, she learned a lesson in agility that will serve her well.

The 45-year-old Ms. Kent in December became president-CEO of, the start-up beauty care e-commerce venture of P&G and Silicon Valley venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures.

She is the former president of Hasbro's $1-billion-a-year U.S. toy business and veteran of P&G's Pringles brand.

"At Hasbro, we had more than 1,000 different items a year that had to be designed, created, tooled, packaged and advertised," Ms. Kent says. "Here, the pace is very much the same.", which began taking orders the week Ms. Kent was appointed, asks women a series of questions to link them with customized products. With 50,000 permutations, has as many stock-keeping units as some supermarkets -- all custom-manufactured and guaranteed to be delivered within seven days at prices Ms. Kent says are at the low tier of department-store brands.

To manage the complexity, has hired Alex Zelikovsky to the post of chief logistics officer. He previously was director of logistics and information for But Ms. Kent is confident of reaching one goal Amazon hasn't.

"There's certainly a lot of talk about Internet companies that will never have a profitable business model," she says. "All I can say is I wouldn't go to companies like that."

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