Reinold Geiger

Chairman and CEO of L’OCCITANE

Reinold Geiger is Chairman and CEO of L'Occitane. He is responsible for the company's global appeal and its worldwide presence.

Early life

Born in Dornbirn, Austria in 1947, Reinold Geiger graduated from the Federal Institute of Engineering in 1969. He received a masters degree in business administration from the INSEAD Fontainebleau in 1976. After graduating, he went on to found six different companies successively. His greatest success came with a packaging company.  

In 1991, he sold that business, first in part — and then in its entirety. “I wanted to be independent and I saw in my father, a self-employed carpenter, an inspiration”, Geiger said.

Early life

The founder of L’Occitane

A year later, he met Olivier Baussan, founder of L'Occitane, at a cosmetics business convention in Italy. At the time, L'Occitane was in debt, had been bought by an outside investor, and had seen its founder dismissed. Geiger invested his own funds into the company. By 1996, he was the majority shareholder.

The founder of L’Occitane

Globalizing L'Occitane

Having studied at an international school, Geiger acquired a global mindset. His goal was to give the company real international leverage, while ensuring it stayed true to its unique approach. 

Using his experience of international business, he soon opened stores in the US and Japan. And despite some setbacks in Hong Kong and Tokyo, Geiger persevered — with remarkable success.

Globalizing L'Occitane

Development in Asia

Dozens of copycats appeared in China, using similar imagery and packaging. Geiger saw the necessity of distinguishing the original from the copies, and so once again entered the Asian market. In 2010, L'Occitane Group became the first EU company to be listed on the Hong Kong stock market. L'Occitane now has over 2,700 stores in 90 countries.  In 2008, Reinold Geiger, by then CEO, was voted entrepreneur of the year by the INSEAD for his global development strategy.

Development in Asia

Every 3 seconds

As he imposed the brand's presence worldwide, Geiger also focused on opening L'Occitane stores in train stations and airports. That way customers on the move could live a moment of indulgence, peace and calm, anywhere they are.

Every 3 seconds, a Shea Butter Hand Cream is purchased.

Every 3 seconds

Fare trade Shea butter

Geiger managed to take a small-scale company and make it a global brand. But he was also conscious that L'Occitane should be a responsible enterprise too. That’s why L’Occitane now works with women in Burkina Faso to develop the fair trade shea butter supply chain, protecting the parklands and empowering women through literacy initiatives.

Fare trade Shea butter

Eco-conscious

Eco-conscious manufacturing, preservation of endangered species, and promotion of local traditions — these things are all also at the heart of the brand Geiger developed. By insisting on using almonds grown in the South of France, Geiger successfully rekindled the production of a classic Provençal plant. The interests of the company and those of nature come together once again.

Eco-conscious