Susan Kropf to Retire From Avon
Stellar 35-Year Career with the Company
Mar 9, 2006
Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) today announced that Susan J. Kropf, president and chief operating officer, has decided to retire following a 35-year career during which she advanced to become the company's number two executive and one of the most prominent executives in the beauty and direct-selling industries.
Avon said that Ms. Kropf, age 57, will step down from her duties as president and chief operating officer effective July 1st and will retire from the company at the end of 2006. A successor to Ms. Kropf will not be named, in line with the company's new global operating structure announced in December 2005, and all business units and support functions will report directly to Andrea Jung, Avon's chairman and chief executive officer.
Avon also noted that Ms. Kropf will not stand for reelection as a member of Avon's Board of Directors at the company's annual meeting of shareholders on May 4th.
Reflecting on her decision to retire, Ms. Kropf said, "With a new operating structure in place and progress being made on our business turnaround plan, I am confident that Avon is now well-positioned to resume sustainable growth, and that the time is now right for me to act on this personal decision that I've been considering for some time.
"Looking back, I am very proud of Avon's extraordinary business growth over the years, as we have evolved from a smaller, more entrepreneurial company to a true global business of scale. I am honored to have been a part of the Avon success story for so many years, and I know I leave the business in good hands with a talented new generation of leaders who are committed to Avon's continuing success."
Andrea Jung, Avon's chairman of the board and chief executive officer, said, "Susan has made countless important contributions during her remarkable 35-year career at Avon, which has spanned virtually every area of the business. For me, Susan has been a trusted business partner and valued friend, but all who have been privileged to work with her closely have benefited equally from her strong leadership skills and broad business perspective."
Ms. Kropf has held her current position of president and chief operating officer since January 2001, where she has had day-to-day oversight of Avon's worldwide operations. Before that, she was executive vice president and chief operating officer, Avon North America and Global Business Operations, with responsibility for the company's North American operating business unit as well as global marketing, R&D, supply chain operations and information technology.
In addition to serving on Avon's Board of Directors, Ms. Kropf also serves on the Boards of MeadWestvaco Corp., Sherwin Williams Co., and the Wallace Foundation. She is a member of Cosmetic Executive Women and this year will be honored with CEW's lifetime achievement award. Ms. Kropf has also been honored by many other organizations, including the March of Dimes, the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers and the National Council for Research on Women.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $8 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in well over 100 countries through over five million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, fashion jewelry and apparel, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Avon Solutions, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, Mark, and Avon Wellness. Learn more about Avon and its products at http://www.avoncompany.com/.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT FOR PURPOSES OF THE "SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
Statements in this release that are not historical facts or information are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "estimate," "project," "plan," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "planned," "potential" and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. Such forward- looking statements are based on management's reasonable current assumptions and expectations. Such forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievement of Avon to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, and there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from management's expectations. Such factors include, among others, the following: general economic and business conditions in our markets, including social, economic, political and competitive uncertainties in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East; our ability to implement our business, cash management and tax strategies and our multi-year restructuring initiatives and our ability to achieve anticipated benefits from such initiatives; the possibility of business disruption in connection with our multi-year restructuring initiatives; our ability to achieve anticipated cost savings and our profitability and growth targets, particularly in our largest markets; our ability to implement appropriate product mix and pricing strategies; the impact of changes in consumer spending patterns and preferences, particularly given the global nature of our business; our ability to replace lost sales attributable to the repositioning of the U.S. Beyond Beauty business; the impact of substantial currency fluctuations on the results of our foreign operations and the cost of sourcing foreign products and the success of our foreign currency hedging and risk management strategies; our ability to implement our Sales Leadership program globally, to increase Representative productivity and recruit Representatives; our ability to implement our enterprise resource planning project; the impact of possible pension funding obligations and increased pension expense on our cash flow and results of operations; the impact of stock option expense pursuant to Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123®; our ability to successfully transition our business in China in connection with the anticipated resumption of direct selling in that market; the effect of legal, regulatory and tax proceedings, as well as restrictions imposed on us, our operations or our Representatives by foreign governments; the risk of an adverse outcome in our material pending litigations; our ability to successfully identify new business opportunities; our access to financing; and our ability to attract and retain key personnel and executives. Additional information identifying such factors is contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update any such forward- looking statements.
SOURCE: Avon Products, Inc.
CONTACT: Media, Victor Beaudet, +1-212-282-5344, or Sharon Samuel,
+1-212-282-5322, or Investor, Renee Johansen or Rob Foresti, +1-212-282-5320,
all of Avon Products, Inc.
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