PRESIDENT, LATIN AMERICAN REGION
As President of the Latin American Region for Mary Kay Inc., one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics in the world, Jose (Pepe) Smeke oversees operations for six Mary Kay markets: Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
Pepe joined Mary Kay Mexico in 1994 as a Manager in the Sales Development Group. He quickly achieved success, earning the titles of Sales Director and General Manager of Mary Kay Mexico. With an approachable leadership style and willingness to take calculated risks, Pepe was promoted to President of Mary Kay Mexico in 1999 and in 2000, he was named President, Mexico and Latin American Region.
During his 25-year tenure with the iconic beauty company, the Latin American region has experienced extraordinary growth. With operations in nearly 40 countries, the global cosmetics powerhouse expanded its Latin American presence with the opening of its two newest markets: Mary Kay Colombia in 2015 and Mary Kay Peru in 2017. Under Pepe’s leadership, the Mary Kay brand has not only been elevated in the region but also attracts a younger generation of Independent Beauty Consultants and Mary Kay brand lovers. With an understanding of the needs and preferences of the region, Pepe spearheaded the development of specific product lines in the color cosmetics and fragrance categories.
Pepe has successfully steered the company’s Latin American growth while also overseeing two of the company’s top five global markets: Brazil and Mexico. Mary Kay has been named the number one color cosmetics brand in Mexico*. Also, Mary Kay was identified as the number one anti-ager skincare brand and number one direct selling company of beauty and personal care products in Mexico by Euromonitor International Ltd.*, the world’s leading independent provider of strategic market research. The Latin America region has also received numerous awards and the brand awareness in the Latin American region is one of the highest within Mary Kay’s international markets. Working with fashion designers and key influencers, Pepe and his team in the Latin American region have secured Mary Kay’s status as an “it” brand with an “it” opportunity.
Prior to joining Mary Kay, Pepe held numerous positions within the sales industry and is fluent in English and Spanish. Currently, he resides in Monterrey, Mexico with his wife and four children.
Pepe earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Universidad La Salle in Mexico City.
FAVORITE MARY KAY QUOTE:
“You cannot teach what you don’t know and you cannot lead where you won’t go.”