Estée Lauder appoints Strategic Modernization Initiative leader

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags North america

The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has appointed Christopher Wood to the position of senior vice president of the Global Strategic Modernization Initiative (SMI), to oversee the next stage of the program.

The SMI, which was created several years ago, centers around the implementation of a common framework across the entire business organization.

“The aim of the SMI​ is to modernize all of our systems to create more common effective and efficient ways of working together to better serve our brands, regions, affiliates and functions,”​ Alexandra Trower, head of media relations at the ELC told CosmeticsDesign.

Thus far, the program has been rolled out to the Aveda brand, UK manufacturing operations and the financial side of the company’s North American operations.

Wood to handle next phase of SMI

In this newly created position, effective from April 25th 2010, Wood will manage all aspects of the next phase of the SMI project including design, execution, integration of people and processes and timing of future phrases.

Based in New York, he will become a member of the company’s executive leadership team, program management team and SMI steering team.

According to the ELC, the next phase of the SMI involves rolling the process out across the company’s nine manufacturing facilities in North America, which will then be followed by affiliates and regions.

The ELC expects the SMI to be ‘largely completed’ by fiscal 2012.

The broad perspective of the company and understanding of how brands and regions work makes Wood, who has been with the company since 1993, an ideal fit for the position of SMI senior vice president, said Tower.

Wood most recently held the position of general manager of the company’s Korean affiliate, a post that will be taken over by Hervé Bouvier, the current head of the Estée Lauder brand in the Asia-Pacific region.

Strong performance in Asia-Pacific region

According to the ELC, Korea is the company’s fifth largest market, and the Estée Lauder brand has enjoyed strong sales over the last few years, led by its skin care products.

Trower said that the Asia-Pacific region is very important for the ELC, and is currently growing at double-digit rates.

She added that Asia skincare is one of top strategic elements for growth in this area, and it is hoped that the efficiencies achieved through the SMI will allow more resources to be invested in developing this region.

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