Yves Rocher

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Yves Rocher
Born (1930-04-07)7 April 1930
La Gacilly, France
Died 26 December 2009(2009-12-26) (aged 79)
Paris, France
Cause of death
stroke
Nationality French
Years active 1945–2009
Known for cosmetics manufacturing
Children Didier Rocher (died 1994)
Awards Légion d'honneur (officer, 1992; commander, 2007), Order of the Ermine

Yves Rocher (7 April 1930 – 26 December 2009) was a French businessman and founder of the cosmetics company that bears his name. He was a pioneer of the modern use of natural ingredients in cosmetics.[1]

Early life[edit]

Yves Rocher was born in the village of La Gacilly, Morbihan, where he grew up. After the death of his father when he was 14,[2] he helped his mother in running the small family textiles business. A local healer taught him the recipe for a hemostatic ointment based on the lesser celandine flower, and he decided to sell the ointment by mail order with adverts in the magazine Ici Paris.[3]

Business career[edit]

Main article: Yves Rocher (company)
La Gacilly, France, first Mr. Yves Rocher laboratory in the family house

Natural products and mail order sales were the pillars of the cosmetics company he founded in 1959. His aim was to democratize the access to beauty products.[4] The company grew rapidly and, three years later, he opened his first store.[3] Yves Rocher retired from the company in 1992, passing control to his son Didier, but returned to the helm after Didier's death in 1994.

Yves Rocher shop on Italie 2, Paris

His grandson Bris was named vice-president in 2007,[5] and took over the company completely after Yves Rocher's death in 2009.[6] The company had an estimated value of two billion euros in 2007, and employs 15,000 people.[3]

Civic activity[edit]

Yves Rocher was also active in the civic scene in southern Brittany. He was mayor of La Gacilly from 1962 to 2008,[7] and was also elected to the General Council of Morbihan in 1982 and the Regional Council of Brittany in 1992.

His company has been instrumental in the economic development of the area around La Gacilly, with factories, development laboratories and a botanical garden.[8][9] Rocher was sometime criticized for being both the area's main employer and its political representative.[10]

Awards[edit]

Yves Rocher was made an officer of the Légion d'honneur in 1992 and a commander in April 2007. He was also a member of the Order of the Ermine.[11]

According to the company's website and founder mission, Yves Rocher was against animal testing of products, once commenting, "If you have to test your 'products' on animals, you don't know what you're doing."

Death[edit]

Yves Rocher died in the Lariboisière Hospital in Paris on 26 December 2009 after suffering a stroke.[6][12] He was buried in La Gacilly on 30 December in the presence of 5000 people.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yves Rocher, Cosmetics Pioneer, Dies at 79", New York Times, 30 December 2009 .
  2. ^ "Yves Rocher: la mort d'un pionnier", Paris Match, 26 December 2009 . (French)
  3. ^ a b c "Yves Rocher est mort", Le Figaro, 26 December 2009 . (French)
  4. ^ La mort d'Yves Rocher à 79 ans dont 50 de cosmétique végétale, France Info, 26 December 2009 . (French)
  5. ^ "Héritier malgré lui", Le Point, 13 March 2008  (French)
  6. ^ a b Le petit-fils d'Yves Rocher prend la relève, France 2, 28 December 2009 . (French)
  7. ^ "Le créateur des cosmétiques Yves Rocher est mort", Le Parisien, 26 December 2009 . (French)
  8. ^ Les sites industriels Yves Rocher : du "made in Bretagne" à la pointe, Yves Rocher S.A., retrieved 2010-01-01 . (French)
  9. ^ Le Jardin Botanique, observatoire des plantes, Yves Rocher S.A., retrieved 2010-01-01 . (French)
  10. ^ "Extrait: La Gacilly, fief breton du géant de la beauté", Le Point, April 2005 . (French)
  11. ^ L'industriel breton Yves Rocher est décédé, Agence Bretagne Presse, 26 December 2009 . (French)
  12. ^ "Décès de l'industriel Yves Rocher", Ouest-France, 26 December 2009 . (French)