Melanie Bender is Chief Executive Officer of Rhode, a skincare brand dedicated to a minimalist approach, curating an intentional daily routine. In June 2022, Rhode launched after two years in the making with an innovative product line of high-performing, multi-use formulas resulting in dewy, delicious skin. Ms. Bender oversees the entirety of the organization, setting its strategy for growth, building a best-in-class team, and leading the company’s marketing, sales, product development, operations, and finance divisions. Under her leadership, Rhode has earned numerous industry accolades, including Allure’s Best of Beauty list, Newcomer of the Year 2022 award from Beauty Inc, and already ranks among the top ten most talked about skincare brands on social media (as measured by Tribe Dynamics). Ms. Bender continues the brand’s commitment to uplifting women of all backgrounds through The Rhode Futures Foundation. Rhode has committed a minimum of 1% of sales and ongoing team volunteer efforts toward supporting partners who actively dismantle the barriers that women face in the school system, the workplace, and beyond.
Before joining Rhode, Ms. Bender was Founding President of Versed, which became the #1 clean skincare brand in mass channels. Earlier she was Vice President of Marketing and Brand Development at Who What Wear, helping build a $150M annual retail business while incubating Versed and Merit. Over the course of her career, she has received industry recognition including, Fast Company’s Most Creative People, WWD’s Beauty Vanguard, Glossy's 50, and Beauty Independent’s Brand Builder of the Year. Ms. Bender is also the leader of CodeRed4Climate, the collective action supported by 250 beauty brands and the White House.
She holds a B.S. in sustainability and accreditation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).