WWD Digital Daily

Virtue Labs Inks New Funding Round, Hires CEO

● Jose Luis Palacios succeeds founder Melisse Shaban as chief executive officer.


Hair care brand Virtue Labs

has tapped Jose Luis Palacios as chief executive officer at the same time as it has raised a new financing round led by Clearasil and Just for Men owner Combe, its majority shareholde­r.

Palacios takes the reins from Virtue Labs founder Melisse Shaban, who launched the brand in 2017. Shaban, the former

CEO of Strivectin Operating Company and Frédéric Fekkai will continue to serve as an adviser to the CEO and the board, according to the company.

Palacios joins Virtue after a long career in the consumer brands industry, including global leadership positions at Procter & Gamble, Coty Inc., and most recently, Google, where he worked in the consumer product goods division.

At Coty, he held a number of positions, including global vice president of commercial excellence and governance in consumer beauty and CEO of Mexico and Latin American markets.

“Jose Luis is a visionary leader and an experience­d operator with a proven track record of driving growth and innovation in the consumer brands industry. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Virtue, and we are confident that he will lead us to new heights of success,” said John Rice, chairman of Virtue.

Palacios added that he was looking forward to accelerati­ng Virtue's growth and developmen­t across digital, retail and salon channels, in the U.S. and internatio­nally, and “to deliver exceptiona­l value to our customers, consumers, partners and shareholde­rs.”

The company did not provide any further details on its latest funding round from Combe, a family owned personal care company that has been involved in Virtue since its launch.

In 2020, it announced a series C investment in Virtue Labs, although financial details were not disclosed.

“I am excited for Virtue's future under Jose Luis' leadership, and am delighted to continue supporting the growth and developmen­t of a brand that is having an incredibly transforma­tive impact on the health of our consumers' hair,” said Keech Combe Shetty, executive chair of Combe Inc.

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