Wella Company created the new position to accelerate the business’ growth, as it seeks to expand its product portfolio and launch into new markets
Wella Professional was founded in 1880 by German hairdresser Franz Ströher
The new management position supports the brand owner’s business acceleration plans for 2023.
This includes expanding its product portfolio and launching into new global markets.
“Frank is the right leader at the right time to accelerate Wella Company’s transformation and enable us to fast-track our maturation into a best-in-class beauty leader,” said Annie Young-Scrivner, CEO of Wella Company.
Smalla joins from the Boston Beer Company, where he served as CFO since 2016.
Prior, he held a 20-year career with Kraft Foods Group and directed finance operations across EMEA and the Americas.
“The opportunity to take an iconic business whose brands have such high-growth potential and unlock its full value is a once-in-a-career opportunity,” added Smalla.
Smalla’s appointment is the latest step in Wella Company’s ambitious expansion plans, after it became an independent entity in 2020.
The hair care label, founded in 1880 by German hairdresser Franz Ströher, was purchased by Coty from Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 2016.
But four years later Coty would divest its Professional Beauty and Retail Hair businesses to US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).
This included the sale of Wella Professionals, along with Clairol, Nioxin, Sebastian Professional, ghd and nail brand OPI.
The companies were then grouped together under the newly-formed title Wella Company in December 2020, with Annie Young-Scrivner becoming its CEO.
Young-Scrivner operated the business during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, ushering financial growth during the difficult trading period.
“When we started in December, the second wave had not yet hit and we had financial metrics that went from December to June – and what we feel really good about is that, despite the unplanned second wave, we exceeded those financial metrics,” Young-Scrivner told Cosmetics Business.
“And I think there were a couple of ways in which we did that.
“One is we really connected with the professional industry to understand what their needs are and created innovation that they could still use.”
In 2022 Wella Company also purchased hair care brand Briogeo, its first acquisition since branching out on its own.
The addition of Briogeo supported the company’s ambitions to deliver more diverse products for all hair types, while expanding 'clean' and green products across its portfolio offerings.