Singapore Post's (SingPost) former chief executive officer Wolfgang Baier has joined Luxasia Group, a Singapore-headquartered fragrance and cosmetic distributor company, which is eyeing further expansion in e-commerce transactions.
In a statement, Luxasia said Dr Baier, 42, has been appointed group CEO with immediate effect, while founder-owner Patrick Chong, who is in his 60s, will become chairman.
Dr Baier's appointment will be key to Luxasia's overall growth strategy, and comes after a year's search for a CEO, said the firm.
Luxasia carries distribution rights to over 120 international fragrance, cosmetics, skincare and professional salon brands such as Clarins, Estee Lauder, Ferragamo, Hermes and Shiseido. It has 11 offices in the region, and hires more than 2,000 full-time employees in Singapore.
Putting brick and mortar and e-commerce together
According to a report in the Business Times (BT), Dr Baier said that Mr Chong's vision for the group, as well as the convergence of e-commerce with brick-and-mortar stores in the beauty industry, appealed to him.
"Obviously Luxasia is leading in brick and mortar. And I have expertise in e-commerce," he said. "And when we put both together we have a very powerful combination."
Dr Baier, largely credited with re-inventing SingPost as a leading e-commerce player, stunned the market when he abruptly quit the postal firm in December last year, the BT report said. He stayed at the group until June this year to support the transition.
Before joining SingPost as CEO (International) in charge of the group's international wing in February 2011, he was a partner at consultancy McKinsey.
SingPost is still looking for a CEO, and has said it expects to name one at the end of the year.
Nol van Fenema