Avon Realigns Senior Management Positions
Aug 16, 2005
Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) today announced two changes in senior management positions to further align the company's top talent against its key growth opportunities.
"With today's appointments, we are leveraging exceptional management talent and experience with two of our most important strategic priorities, namely, the continuing transformation of our direct-selling channel and the building of the Avon brand," said Andrea Jung, Avon's chairman and chief executive officer. "These seasoned executives will play critical roles in enabling Avon to unleash the potential of our unique business model."
Brian Connolly, age 50, has been named executive vice president, global sales strategy, continuing to report to Susan Kropf, Avon's president and chief operating officer. In the newly created position, he will be responsible for driving the company's direct-selling strategies as a source of continuing competitive advantage, especially in the company's fast-growing international markets, where Avon is rolling out Sales Leadership, a multi-level earnings opportunity for career-oriented Representatives that launched successfully in the U.S. in 1999.
Mr. Connolly joined Avon in 1978 and has over 27 years risen through the ranks to positions of increasing importance and was named executive vice president and president, North America in 2003. Mr. Connolly also is very prominent in the direct-selling industry, and is a past Chairman and current member of the Direct Selling Association Board of Directors.
Elizabeth A. Smith, age 42, succeeds Mr. Connolly as executive vice president and president, North America, also reporting to Ms. Kropf. In her new role, Ms. Smith will lead the U.S. business as it moves ahead with its strategies to strengthen the Avon brand and increase market share, as well as enhance Representative productivity and customer growth.
Ms. Smith also will continue in her role as brand president in which she has responsibility for the strategic management of the company's worldwide brand and product categories, including the successful transformation of the Avon brand, which is an important component of Avon's growth strategy in the U.S.
Prior to joining Avon in January 2005, Ms. Smith spent 14 years at Kraft Foods Inc., where she rose to become one of the highest-ranking executives in the company. As Kraft's President, US Beverages and Grocery Sectors, she directed the growth agenda and brand-building strategies for the sector's $6 billion domestic business.
Avon is the world's leading direct seller of beauty and related products, with $7.7 billion in annual revenues. Avon markets to women around the world through 4.9 million independent sales Representatives. Avon product lines include such recognizable brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Avon Solutions, Advance Techniques Hair Care, Avon Naturals, Mark, and Avon Wellness. Avon also markets an extensive line of fashion jewelry and apparel. More information about Avon and its products can be found on the company's web site http://www.avoncompany.com/.
SOURCE: Avon Products, Inc.
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