Essilor Reorganizes North America Management Under Rick Gadd and Expands Commercial Roles in EOA

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DALLAS—Following Essilor Group’s appointment earlier this week of Paul du Saillant as CEO, the company’s new leader moved quickly to reorganize its North American leadership team, including the management of Essilor of America (EOA), to meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. “As I assume my new responsibilities, I think first about our employees whose dedication and commitment in these difficult times need to be praised,” du Saillant told VMAIL. “Together, with these employees and a rejuvenated management team, we can make Essilor even more agile, reactive and resilient.”

Chief among the changes within Essilor is the appointment of Rick Gadd as president, North America. Gadd, who had been president of EOA, will now oversee Essilor’s lens and lab business in the U.S. and Canada. In this expanded role, he reports directly to du Saillant and joins the global management committee created to help optimize the integration with Luxottica. Christophe Perreault, president of Essilor Canada, now reports to Gadd.

“When the recovery comes, Essilor will be ready with products, innovation and brands that enhance our categories and an efficient integrated lab network—all of which will strengthen our long-standing relationships with customers, providing vision care solutions to all,” said du Saillant. “Under Rick’s leadership, our U.S. and Canada customers will have the full power of Essilor to accelerate their recovery and delivery on their promise to consumers.”

As part of the reorganization, longtime Essilor executive John Carrier has decided to step back from his leadership position at the group level after contributing to the group’s success for the past 30 years. He will remain an advisor to the North American business for the next few months, an Essilor spokesperson said.
In addition, Gadd recently expanded the roles for four Essilor of America veterans:

● Jessica Kozak is promoted to senior vice president, ECP sales. Kozak will oversee the sales strategy and execution for the independent ECP channel and determine how to best drive value for private practice optometrists and opticians. Jessica has been in progressively responsible roles within the sales organization since 2007.

● James Gilchrist expands his role as senior vice president, strategic alliances & solutions. In this role, Gilchrist continues to lead Essilor's business across managed care and doctor alliance partnerships, including Vision Source, PERC, and Opti-Port, and will add strategic alliances and Essilor's dispensary management businesses to his scope. Gilchrist joined Essilor of America in 2015 and held previous leadership roles in management consulting and the United States Air Force.

● Sherianne James expands her role to chief marketing officer and senior vice president, customer engagement. She will continue to be responsible for marketing and her expanded role includes customer support and retention through sales optimization and customer service. Sherianne has been chief marketing officer at Essilor of America for close to three years and has a tenure of more than nine years in the industry with Essilor and Transitions.

● Larry Clarke, president, distributor channels will expand his role to include national accounts and will be responsible for all large accounts in Essilor’s commercial network. Clarke joined Essilor of America in 2019 after more than 19 years at Satisloh where he was most recently president and group CTO.

“These four leaders are catalysts in our actions to transform and integrate in North America and prepare our customers for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Gadd. “These leaders live the foundational elements of what makes Essilor special—our mission, our principles and values, our customer-centricity and our entrepreneurial spirit—and define how we support our customers now and well into recovery.”