Charles "CB" Busta, 51, former executive at Noxell who helped expand Cover Girl

June 26, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Charles J. "CB" Busta III, a former Noxell Corp. executive who helped expand the company's Cover Girl cosmetic line, died Tuesday of a cerebral hemorrhage at the Heart Institute in Miami. The Monkton resident was 51.

Mr. Busta, who left Noxell in 1996 to join Revlon in New York City, was vacationing with his family on Nevis, an island in the West Indies, when he was stricken.

Hired as executive vice president and general manager of Revlon's Beauty Care USA, the company's hair and beauty-products division, Mr. Busta was named executive vice president and general manager of Revlon's Professional USA division last year. In his new position, he was responsible for Revlon's American Crew and Creative Nail products.

"CB was highly respected and well liked by his colleagues at Revlon and throughout the industry," George Fellows, president and chief executive officer of Revlon Inc., said yesterday.

Mr. Busta was hired in 1976 by Hunt Valley-based Noxell Corp., which has been owned by Procter & Gamble since 1989.

Cover Girl, which Noxell introduced it during the 1960s, became the biggest cosmetic brand in the United States and is known for its promotion by Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Jennifer O'Neill and Niki Taylor.

"He had two strengths," Carroll A. Bodie, Procter and Gamble Cosmetics vice president and general counsel, said of Mr. Busta. "He managed to inspire and work well with people, and he had the unique ability to look at an advertising concept, tweak it a bit and make it work. He also had a certain intuition about whether something would work or not."

Mr. Busta was born and raised in Cleveland and graduated in 1966 from Cleveland's Cathedral Latin School. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1970 in education and business from the University of Dayton and a master's degree in 1971 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

He began his career working at S.S.C. & B. Lintas advertising in New York City, the agency that handled publicity for Cover Girl and Johnson's baby shampoo.

After joining Noxell in 1976, Mr. Busta was put in charge of Noxzema skin cream, Raintree shampoo and such household staples as Lestoil. He rapidly rose from group products manager to marketing director before being named a Noxell vice president in 1986.

His professional memberships included the board of the Association of National Advertisers.

He was a former member of the board of the Baltimore Museum of Art, where he headed the marketing advisory panel, and the Greater Baltimore Committee.

At his death, he was on the board of Baltimore Tool Co. and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and was a member of the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America.

He enjoyed whitewater rafting, hiking and backpacking in Colorado and Montana. He owned several steeplechase horses and was an avid golfer who belonged to Hunt Valley Golf Club.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today in the chapel of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N. Charles St.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, the former Bonita Erzen; a daughter, Caroline "Carly" Busta of Monkton; his parents, Charles J. Busta Jr. and Ann Busta of Parma, Ohio; two brothers, James Busta of Parma and Richard Busta of Massillon, Ohio; and a sister, Kathleen Kolick of Strongsville, Ohio.

Pub Date: 6/26/99

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