A major player in the world of beauty, Demsey is group president of Estée Lauder.
Ohio native Demsey had a good deal of exposure to the beauty biz as a kid: One of his cousins created the musky '70s sensation Jovan and his family was friendly with Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon. It was his family connections that helped Demsey land a spot in the Macy's executive training program after he graduated from Stanford. Following stints at Saks and Benetton, in the early 1990s Demsey arrived at Estée Lauder's LA office as head of sales; eight years later, Leonard Lauder tapped him to run MAC Cosmetics. He managed to turn the brand into a powerhouse in short order by marketing MAC to fashion industry pros and recruiting campy celebrity spokesmodels (RuPaul, Pamela Anderson) to generate buzz. His efforts were rewarded in 2005 when he was named global brand president of Estée Lauder, and a year later William Lauder bumped him up to group president. These days Demsey is hard at work trying to reinvigorate the brand by reaching out to a younger, more fashion-savvy audience. Additionally, under Demsey's leadership as chairman, the MAC AIDS Fund became one of the largest charities of its kind. Demsey received the amFAR's Award of Courage in 2007.