The Honest Company, the Los Angeles, California-based consumer products enterprise cofounded by Jessica Alba, has a new CEO after a planned sale to Unilever fell through last year.
On Thursday, the company named Nick Vlahos, chief operating officer at Clorox CLX -0.47%, as its new chief executive, replacing current CEO Brian Lee. In a statement, Honest said that Lee, who had cofounded the company as well as other startups including ShoeDazzle and LegalZoom, would remain on the board.
“With our strategic shift from e-commerce to omni-channel brand underway, this is the perfect time to welcome Nick Vlahos as the new leader of The Honest Company,” Alba, Honest’s chairperson, said in a statement. “Nick shares our mission of building a modern brand with ethical standards, trust and transparency at the forefront.”
Lee’s departure is not a complete surprise given Honest’s recent turmoil. The company, which had been preparing for an initial public offering, explored a sale to Unilever last year. That deal fell through after Unilever ended up buying green household product marker Seventh Generation for more than $600 million. Following that, Honest initiated a round of layoffs and changes at the executive level with Lee telling technology publication Recode that “we’re always looking to do what’s best for the company” when asked if he would step aside.
“Nick’s tremendous background building global [consumer packaged goods] brands makes him the ideal person to lead us there,” said Lee in a statement.
Vlahos joins Honest after spending 22 years at Clorox, where he was one of the company’s two COOs and oversaw marketing, sales, research and development. Honest, which is aiming to transition itself from a traditional e-commerce venture to a wholesale distributor, said it reached more than $300 million in sales last year.