Mary Kay growing product portfolio with hire of chief scientific officer

Mary Kay has added a C-suite executive who will help develop new products and secure patents for the cosmetic company.

Dr. Lucy Gildea has joined the Addison-based company as chief scientific officer, where she will lead Mary Kay’s global research and development. Her responsibilities will include developing the company’s product strategy and innovation pipeline, and growing Mary Kay’s portfolio of 1,300 product patents.

“The opportunity to serve as the new chief scientific officer for Mary Kay Inc. allows me to marry my passions for science, innovation and empowering women,” Gildea said in a prepared statement. “Through leading Mary Kay’s global research and development, I am excited to be on the front lines of innovation to create beauty products that invigorate our independent sales force, as well as their customers, around the world.”

Prior to joining Mary Kay, Gildea served for 15 years at Proctor and Gamble, working in the company’s health care, oral care, beauty technology and beauty/skin product development departments.

She lived in Singapore during her tenure, giving her experience with Asian markets. China is Mary Kay’s largest market, surpassing the U.S. more than three years ago.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgetown College and a doctorate in cell in molecular biology, immunology and infection diseases from the University of Cincinnati.

Mary Kay is in the midst of building a manufacturing facility in Lewisville that will house the direct-selling cosmetic company’s manufacturing and R&D departments. Currently, the Mary Kay conducts more than 500,000 product tests per year, but the new hub will allow it to increase its R&D capacity by more than 50 percent.

Construction is set to be complete early next year.

“It will be designed and built to increase efficiencies and keep our costs competitive in the global marketplace,” said Thomas Cho, Mary Kay’s chief supply chain officer. “We can attract the best scientific and technical talent and achieve the best speed to market.”

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