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Scott Beattie, HBA’81, MBA’86, is one of the most respected names in the beauty products industry. As Chairman and CEO of Elizabeth Arden Inc., he has transformed the company into a global powerhouse through his vision and leadership in product innovation and brand development. And he developed his business acumen at Western.


How does someone go from co-founding a private equity firm to leading a global cosmetics company?

E. Scott Beattie, HBA’81, MBA’86, hears that question a lot. Through his career, Beattie has moved from being an investment banker to leading an international beauty brand – Elizabeth Arden, Inc.

He responds to the question by saying his business knowledge, plus his openness to new opportunities, made the transition a logical fit. He encourages the next generation of leaders to do the same.

“Don’t try to manage your career. Let the opportunities blossom as they occur,” Beattie said at an event for Western students at Ivey Business School. “Listen to your heart.”

He has followed his own advice. After earning two degrees from Ivey, Beattie set out on his business career. He began with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), and then switched to mergers and acquisitions with Merrill Lynch.

In 1989, he co-founded Bedford Capital, a Toronto-based private equity firm involved in financing, managing and developing businesses in the consumer product, financial services, IT and retail sectors.  

Now as chairman, president and CEO of Elizabeth Arden, Beattie has been involved in every element of the company’s global expansion and modern transformation since its inception in 1992.

Through his focus on product innovation and brand development, Beattie has grown the company into one of the world’s most recognizable beauty brands with more than $1.4 billion in revenue and a presence in 100 countries.

With all of his success, Beattie finds time to stayed involved with Western, serving on the Ivey Advisory Board and returning to campus to share leadership lessons with students. During one session with Ivey students, he encouraged them to boldly pursue their interests, always keep learning, and lead with integrity and humility.

“When you look at companies that fail, it’s not often because of lack of competence, but because of arrogance,” Beattie told students. “When you get in front of people you have to behave with the highest level of integrity. People are always looking at you as a leader. You need to lead by example.”

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