Carrier Appointed COO Essilor Int'l, Leonard Named President, EOA

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Essilor's Eric Leonard (l)
and John Carrier.


PARIS— Essilor International announced today that John Carrier, president and CEO of Essilor of America, has been appointed chief operating officer of Essilor International, alongside Paul du Saillant and Laurent Vacherot who have each been long-time co-COOs. The move is effective Sept. 1 (Sept. 2 in the U.S.).

Carrier, who has headed Essilor of America for the past seven years, will remain CEO of Essilor of America. In his new role, he will be responsible, globally, for research and development, strategic marketing, intellectual property and for Essilor’s E-business activity. Carrier will remain based in Dallas.

“This decision reflects the Group’s intention to adapt its organization and structure to its development ambitions and growth,” Essilor said in a statement.

Eric Leonard, a long-term Essilor executive, most recently serving as president of Essilor’s European region, has been named president of Essilor of America. That move is also effective Sept. 2 in the U.S.

“I really have a lot of admiration for Eric’s intelligence and his managerial courage. He’s very strategic and pragmatic. I’m very confident that Eric can take the reins,” Carrier told VMail.

Carrier also told VMail that Real Goulet, currently president of Essilor Laboratories of America, will be transitioning to a new global/international role as senior vice president, Rx Sunwear, for Essilor International, effective Sept 2. Goulet will report to Eric Thoreux, corporate senior vice president, strategic marketing and will be based in Paris.

Steve Nussbaumer, who previously headed Essilor of America’s retail division in the U.S. and most recently has been overseeing Essilor UK, has been named as the new president of Essilor Laboratories of America, Carrier said. Nussbaumer will be based in Dallas and will report to Leonard, as will all the U.S.-based executives who previously reported to Carrier.

Carrier noted that Roy Hessel, who heads Essilor’s online businesses internationally and is based in Vancouver, Canada, will continue to report to him.

Both Carrier and Leonard are longtime Essilor executives. Carrier spent his first years at Essilor in logistics/distribution in the U.S. and in France. He was later appointed general manager of Essilor Switzerland. In 1996, Carrier returned to the corporate office in Paris as director of strategic marketing. In 1998, he was appointed senior vice president of marketing for Essilor of America and, in 2003, promoted to president of Essilor Laboratories of America. He was named president and CEO of Essilor of America in January 2007.

Leonard, who has an engineering background, started his career in 1990 as purchasing manager for PSA Peugeot Citroen. He then worked for The Boston Consulting Group before joining Essilor International as chief sourcing officer, a position he held from 2002 to 2005. Leonard served as executive director of Transitions Optical from 2004 to 2005, and then as general manager for Essilor France from 2005 to 2010. He was named president of Essilor Europe four years ago.