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Andrea Jung to step down from Avon helm

By Simon Pitman , 08-Oct-2012
Last updated on 08-Oct-2012 at 17:26 GMT

Andrea Jung has said she will step down as executive chairman and board member at Avon Products at the end of this year, maintaining a position as a senior advisor to the board from the beginning of next year.

The position of non-executive chairman will be filled by Fred Hassan, who is currently a managing director and partner at Warburg Pincus, as well as the former CEO of pharmaceutical operator Schering-Plough. Hassan will take up the role from January 1, 2013.

Jung stood down from the position of CEO in December last year, bowing under pressure in the light of struggling financial results and the weight of a continuing scandal of bribery and corruption charges relating to Avon executives in China.

Leaving the executive board after 13 years

During her 12 years at the helm of the company Jung had overseen a series of restructuring and expansion programs that gave way to unprecedented growth. In line with this she helped push the number of direct sales representatives to around six million worldwide.

But the economic dowturn hit the company hard, problems that were compounded by a top heavy management structure and inefficiencies in the company's international business structure.

"My decision reflects the successful transition to new leadership. I believe the end of the year is the appropriate time for me to shift my role from executive chairman to senior advisor," Jung said.

"Fred's experience and leadership on the Avon board, and his unusual record of leading turnarounds at world-class companies over his distinguished career make him ideally suited to take on the independent Chairman role."

Sherilyn McCoy takes on a difficult job

Avon replaced Jung as CEO with the appointment of Sherilyn McCoy, who took over the position in April of this year, having spent 30 years with Johnson & Johnson, where one of her most notable acheivements was the development of the Neutrogena brand.

Since taking the helm McCoy has experienced a rocky path, most notably navigating the company through a hostile buy-out bid by rival cosmetics and fragrance group Coty.

Most recently, market analysts at 24/7 Wall Street identified Avon as one of ten important brands that it predicts may disappear during the course of 2013.

Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 important American brands that it predicts will disappear within a year, and this is the first time a cosmetics giant has featured in recent years.

In August the company posted one of its worst quarterly results in its recent history, with net profit falling by 70 percent and total revenue down 9 percent to $2.6bn.

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