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About Kao

Founded in Japan in 1887 with a mission to enrich people’s lives, Kao's commitment to deliver high quality products that make life beautiful has continued for over 130 years.

Globally, Kao has 33,000 employees working across four business fields: Hygiene and Living Care, Health and Beauty Care, Life Care, and Cosmetics. In our Chemicals Business we develop a wide range of chemical products that meet the various needs of industry. In the region Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) Kao focuses on premium beauty brands across three distinct sectors: Kao Salon Division, Kao Consumer Division and Molton Brown.

The Kao Salon Division with its master brands Goldwell, KMS and Oribe is the fourth biggest professional beauty business in the world while the Kao Consumer Division features high quality Hair and Skin Care brands such as John Frieda®, Guhl, Bioré, Jergens, Curél and MegRhythm. Expertly blended in London, Molton Brown’s collection of signature fragrances, bath and shower gels, home and hand care luxuries have claimed iconic status.

At Kao consumers come first. With a focus on high-end beauty brands, Kao EMEA continues to build on its success investing in research and development, driving product innovation with a commitment to quality and safety, both for our consumers as well as the environment.

Leadership team




Karen Frank
President Kao Consumer Division, AEMEA

“The Kao Consumer Division is about great value and great quality products. We want consumers to love our brands as much as we do.”




Cory Couts
Global President, Kao Salon Division

“We bring the Kao vision for making life beautiful and enriching lives to salon owners, stylists and their clients around the world.”




Mark Johnson
Global President, Molton Brown

“Kao and Molton Brown have this passion for integrity, for craftsmanship, for artistry, to give our consumers the ultimate, quality experience."




Herbert Tripp
President Functions Operations, EMEA

“In EMEA, we are focusing on our strong brands and the expertise we have in beauty care. But there is still an immense untapped potential.”

Kao by numbers

Kao by numbers

*“World’s most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names
and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC.

Business sectors




Kao Salon Division

At Kao Salon Division, understanding the needs of our business partners, salon owners and stylists worldwide, is at the centre of everything we do. Building on our long-standing history and foundation of sustainability activities, we support our partners in their daily challenges. We provide solutions that equally respect their, their clients’ and the planet’s needs and that help to elevate them to success.
As each salon client is different and every stylist unique, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of products and services across our salon quality brands Goldwell, KMS, Oribe and Varis.
Combining Kao's extensive research and development power with a thorough stylist understanding, we are driven to constantly innovate and to contribute to a sustainable society with our brands.




Kao Consumer Division

Our Consumer Divisions brands reflect Kao’s mission to make the world a better and more beautiful place. With that in mind, we offer quality, premium beauty solutions for our customers around the world. Whether it is hair transformations, skin-care solutions, or helping our customers to de-stress and relax: our brands John Frieda®, Guhl, Bioré, Jergens, Curél and MegRhythm offer a range of amazing, customer focused products, developed and crafted with care. This care also goes into exploring how to make our products more sustainable. For us, quality and sustainability go hand-in-hand.




Molton Brown

Expertly blended in London, Molton Brown’s collection of signature fragrances, bath and shower gels, home and hand care luxuries have claimed iconic status with vibrant colours and bold scents. Carefully sourcing ingredients from around the world, each creation is intricately composed by some of the world’s finest perfumers for a truly indulgent, memorable experience. Molton Brown are proud to hold a Royal Warrant for the supply of toiletries by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.

Kao EMEA locations

In the EMEA region, we operate in 14 countries.
Our main business hubs are in Darmstadt/Germany, London/United Kingdom, and Amersfoort/The Netherlands.


Our history in EMEA

Scroll through the timeline to discover the highlights of the
Kao EMEA story in Europe, Middle East, Africa Region.

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