#EscentualMeets – Marie-Noelle Adam, Givenchy General Manager

#EscentualMeets - Marie-Noelle Adam, Givenchy General Manager

Are you career-focused, driven and looking to be inspired? #EscentualMeets is your source of motivation. Every month, we reveal the grit, success, and stories of a selection of the world’s leading beauty professionals…

Marie-Noelle Adam is the UK and Ireland General Manager for Parfums Givenchy, one of the world’s leading beauty houses. Part of the iconic LVMH group, Marie-Noelle’s job is arguably one of the most coveted roles in the beauty industry. But how did she get there? In this #EscentualMeets, we hear about Marie’s career journey.

1. Before Beauty

Marie was born in France to a flight attendant mother and father who worked in international business. Her parents’ jobs meant that she could travel all over the world from a young age, and she also lived abroad. “It was clear from the beginning of my life that I wanted to work internationally. Every day I was surrounded by international values, culture and international drive. So, logically, I did my Master in International Marketing in a Business School in France”.

2. Starting A Career

After graduating, Marie completed several internships in the beauty industry in large companies like COTY and PUIG. Then, it was time for her to find a job, but it wasn’t easy, “Let’s just say 80% of the women in business schools in France want to do marketing”. Luckily, Marie’s experience through interning helped her land a job at the company Parfums Salvador Dali. “It was half training, half marketing. The scope for training was worldwide: I spent three weeks in Asia, three weeks in the Middle East, three weeks in South America… It was amazing for me in terms of knowledge, growth and professional and personal experience”.

“I learned a lot in this job working with the beauty consultants. Being on the field helps you to understand the business, the customer journey and apply all to the marketing side of my job. It was super helpful. Then, at 25 or 26, I was offered the Sales Manager position for Europe”. Marie was hesitant to accept this role at first, despite the promotion, “To be very honest, I thought salespeople were always very pushy. I was a bit more introverted at this age. I wondered if this kind of job would fit me”. Despite her reservations, Marie went for it and stayed in this role for four years. “I just felt in love with this job! It was super interesting because I was in charge of many markets and taking care of everything from sales, marketing, logistics to finance… working with amazing distributors. Strong relationship with clients was at the heart of my job”.

After Parfums Salvador Dali, Marie continued in Export roles for a Group of Lingerie Brands, Haynes Brand Inc., and then came back to beauty working for Shiseido Group.

3. Journey to Parfums Givenchy

When listening to Marie’s career history, it’s clear that she grabs every opportunity with both hands, “I got promoted at Shiseido after three years and my manager asked me to choose one region to take care of, and I chose Africa. I was so proud to be the first woman in this company to go to so many countries in Africa; they were all going to Morocco, South Africa… for instance, but never to Nigeria or Zimbabwe”. Marie even proposed to her manager that she left Paris and take on this role in Johannesburg, South Africa. After few months of convincing her management, they agreed. But, the universe and the beauty industry had other ideas for Marie, “Life is funny because the week they confirmed, I received a call from LVMH to become Export Director. The move was not to go from Paris to Johannesburg, like 10 000 km but to go from Paris to Levallois Perret, 5km”.

Marie accepted the position. Over the next couple of years, Marie thrived in her role as Export Director and took on the role of mum, too, welcoming her first child in 2021. On her maternity leave return, she was more than ready for a new opportunity, “I was honoured to be promoted to General Manager for the UK and Ireland”.

4. The Role of Parfums Givenchy General Manager

“It’s a role with a lot of responsibilities and challenges. I’m passionate about Parfums Givenchy, my job, my team and my customers. It’s a 360 role: it covers everything! Time management and organization are key if you want to succeed and have a well-balanced life: no lunch break, straight from eight to six, to be able to pick up my kid at night. Sometimes working in the evenings…but always with energy and pleasure because I love what I’m doing and I’m lucky to work for such an amazing brand!”

When asked what’s most exciting about her role, Marie beams with pride and says, “If I’m honest, it’s my team – that’s the most exciting thing for me. I wake up every day, and my main motivation is to make sure that people are happy at Parfums Givenchy and feel they are growing”. On being a good leader, Marie says, “Be yourself. I feel like the more authentic you are, the closer you are in terms of relationship with people. I’m very empathetic because I think the more you understand the person, the better work cooperation is.”

If you want to land a position on Marie’s team, her advice is simple, “I can look at a CV and see someone’s background and do tests about what they think about this and that, but honestly, it’s about showing your true personality. I like to ask questions like, three things you are proud of or what don’t your friends like about you, and see what people say.”

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