tv The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations Bloomberg March 23, 2019 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT
they said you are in charge of greece. jean-paul: i proposed a job to everyone. creating boot -- beauty projects you make people happy. david: can you tell difference in the brands? jean-paul: not from far away. weeks ofu take four vacation. what is the secret to being a good business later? jean-paul: the most important thing to do is love what you do. i thought people would not recognize me if my tie was fixed.
david: i do not consider myself a journalist. i begin to take on the life of being an interviewer even though i have a day job of running a private equity firm. how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody tick?asquet -- as archaeologists have discovered, you go back several thousand years. there was cosmetics and other beauty products. what are we doing to make people more beautiful today than they did thousands of years ago? it did not exist many thousands of years ago. the first product we are a where discovered 100,000 years ago. 100,000 years ago men and women
ofrted to use it kind makeup, kind of food from beauty treatments. at the department store -- where do people by those? mostly for it was women in those days. jean-paul: i was not there. i am not sure. maybe in the country. maybe both men and women were using colors. david: i went to the store to buy cosmetics and the first thing, i smell the fragrance of perfume and everything and cosmetics is always on the first floor of a department store. why is that? jean-paul: because beauty
products bring traffic so department stores or other stores, for them it is a great opportunity to bring people to their store and when they enter the store, they are at the it is why it is mailed fragrance. people are just it. -- artistic. what about a mine death david: what about all mine? is that a big part of your business? growing fast.are depending on the country, it can be between 5, 10, 15, 20%. david: are there countries where cosmetics, perfume, hair dye, ?otions were sold
jean-paul: every part of the world has a different -- for example, in the u.s. women is a lot of makeup. , and in asia they use skincare. .avid: but stock about l'oreal the company is based in france but your biggest market -- is that the united states? jean-paul: france is still very small. it is 7%. the u.s. is the number one market at 25% and asia is becoming strong. , will certainly become bigger and bigger. david: let's go through how you came to l'oreal. you grow up in paris. when you are a young boy, i want to run l'oreal? jean-paul: when i was really young i was trying to understand
what time -- what type of job and like to do. one was to be a psychiatric -- psychiatrist. you did not miss anything. jean-paul: or a movie director. or a business. at the end i chose business and the funny thing is, in my job every day i do history because marketing is about understanding the desires and dreams and wishes of the people. it is a lot about movie direction because you create images and everything. i was able to put it all together. david: when you went to school, you took a finance class. the professor said you are good in marketing, not finance. jean-paul: yes.
expert.a finance i have to admit i am batting finance. i chose the finance major because it changed me of the time. i recommended to change the other sizing. the guy said at the end, you are gifted but do marketing. david: how did you come to l'oreal? >> i went to business school and at the end of business school -- in fact, once i knew there was look -- iarketing, a look forward to the most interesting marketing. ut is what i call the supreme art of marketing. it is about standing, all the
technet -- technicalities but it is also about nutrition have a creation. david: they said you are now in charge of greece. jean-paul: yes. it was more shaky than that. i started as a sales man. you always start as a salesman for one year or 1.5 years. a big -- i did marketing. headas called the bigger of hr at that time so i was a bigger fred. , we want you to go to greece and take over as general manager. i went proud, happy. david: 24 years old. jean-paul: then i realized, number one the business was
extremely tiny. number two, in a terrible state, but number three more importantly people had proposed a job to almost everyone and no one wanted to take it. .hey were not crazy david: so you did the job? >> i loved it. david: what did you do next? >> i commit -- i spent five years in greece. i loved it. i learned everything in greece. resources, this .eg might be by way then i came back and became the general manager of the l'oreal brand in france. david: later you were put in charge of asia. in asia,: i started
china, korea. using othere were kinds of beauty products. they were just not using l'oreal. jean-paul: no. we had no team. it was a big plane. we stopped at everything and 97. we started with a team of 10 nowle in the apartment and we are number one in china. david: after the united states, you were put in charge of the united states? ? was your english as perfect as it is now jean-paul: thank you for that perfect. psychiatrist was difficult for me. there are a few words that are difficult but i am working on it. david: how long did you live in new york? >> five years. i arrived two days before
september 11. came, we wife before i could go to new york, it is space, it is quiet, it is easy. the weekend before and the kids started the day before and september 11 happened tuesday. david: you later moved back to france and became the ceo in 2006. and since you have been the ceo the stock has dropped 200%. jean-paul: more. 400%. david: wow. that is pretty good. jean-paul: it is not finished. david: the market value of your company is $140 billion? what was it when you took over? jean-paul: four times that. david: people are happier when
the products -- the ceo are often men and the people in charge of the beauty products are often men. is that unusual or going to change? jean-paul: it is going to change. definitely in the next few years, women will take over. maybe not in the next future but certainly a woman would become the ceo. david: what are you trying to do on sustainability and what are you trying to do in terms of your carbon footprint? cdp, and thee a four water,al,
we also recognize the company in terms of instability. david: one of your other pushes has been for strong ethics. why? when i took over as ceo, i understood ethics would be something important for the future. decided with the team at leave itd be alone. when you think of l'oreal, it is not that difficult to think of a company. said, ok.ave it is not difficult and forget it. that difficult. david: let's talk about your
products. your brand names. the l'oreal brand name is we sell a lot of products under that name. have 35 more international brands and l'oreal is just one of them. it is the only brand we even bride -- we even by. all the other -- david: is that your upscale or not upscale? jean-paul: it is beautiful. it is very upscale. e --umber one looks sure david: there is another brand. urban decay. decay does not mean something people like. why urban decay?
jean-paul: it is surprising. it is not for the same consumers. on consumers who love luck do not appreciate the decay. consumers would love that. david: you on maybelline? is that sold in department sold in athat drugstore? woman -- ifmeone some woman was wearing lipstick, can you tell the difference in the brands? jean-paul: not from far away. you have all these products and you are a man. you do not use a lot of these products. how do you make a judgment about whether it is a good product or not? jean-paul: the president of the
brand. we are decentralized. we have no position. for the brand as a team , what we call international marketing team and there is a president for each brand. david: they do not have to come to you get each product approved? jean-paul: no. she could not try that thousands of products we launch every year. david: no matter how old a woman might be, she is still using cosmetics. do you observe that? jean-paul: absolutely. with the aging of the population for the beauty industry and law, -- the older you are, the more you need great quality products. david: people are happier when the user products. jean-paul: absolutely.
it is important. it is a great industry. it is a great job. you make people more happy. you make people have a better sense of confidence. david: do you think anybody can spend too much money on cosmetics? jean-paul: no. that is the good thing. the budget that is allocated to beauty products is limited. it is between 2% 3%. it is ok. it is fun. it contributes a lot to the equality of life. it is a cheap way we improve quality of life. david: what products do you have for men who are in their 60's who got -- who do not want to look like they are in the 60's? jean-paul: -- is an american
when you want to get somebody in the office in august in paris, you can never get them in the office? is that a custom? jean-paul: it is mandatory. it is the habit. i used to take two weeks vacation. when i was in asia, i didn't. when i came back to france, i saw the french were crazy to take. after a while, you like it. david: you know president macron? -- when you are with president macron's wife, use beauty tips? jean-paul: i was with her less than a week. david: i wanted to ask you
today, how do you think the u.s.-french relations are? jean-paul: i think the relations between france and america are excellent at the political level . they may be different but it is not the most important. the important is the relationship between the people. i had an experience when i was here in 2004. there was a time when there was freedom fighting story. --n if david: for a lot of people, you are a role model. you have done a terrific job with l'oreal. what is the secret to being a good business later? jean-paul: the most important thing is to love what you do. i was lucky because when i knew thisreal i
company was made for me. it was obvious. when you feel like that, when you love what you do, when you are happy to wake up every morning and do what you have to , it is an easy journey. david: do people try to get free products from you? people say i am having a show or some charity thing and we would like free products. do you have a division? freepaul: when they want products from us, that means they like it so it is ok. we encourage that. how is l'oreal approaching e-commerce especially with products that are difficult to market, for example color match foundations, perfume and how do you could beat with digitally native brands that are building communities online. jean-paul: we can be very well.
e-commerce is almost 50% of the business. globally speaking, our e-commerce has grown by 40% last , which is faster than the market itself. we are competing well. is the best way to get a job with l'oreal? jean-paul: call me. [laughter] david: that might be tough to get a hold of you. jean-paul: no. you can email me. i look at my email everyday and i answer them every day. just come. david: suppose somebody once a senior-level job. jean-paul: what is the job? comes closewoman and she has perfume on, can you tell it is a l'oreal brand?
jean-paul: not always, but normally yes. wearingf she is cosmetics, you can tell it she is wearing l'oreal? jean-paul: that is more difficult. you have to get very close, which sometimes is tricky. david: is there anything that makes you nervous at night because the world is troubled? jean-paul: my number one strength as i sleep well. i sleep eight hours a night and every night nothing wakes me up. david: really? jean-paul: yes. it is the truth. david: you are fortunate to sleep that long. i saw the jeff bezos -- david: eight hours is what he needs a night. when he gets in his late 60's, i doubt he will be able to make it through the night but you never