Avon’s latest Brazil exec appointment targets turn around

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Avon’s latest Brazil exec appointment targets turn around
In the face of significant market challenges of late, Avon Products has appointed José Vicente Marino as executive vice president and general manager, for the all-important Brazil market.

Although Brazil has seen some economic recovery from the downturn of 2015, Avon’s results in the country have not kept up with average growth for the cosmetics and personal care category, prompting the need for a new approach.

Marino will take up the position on September 17th​ with the express responsibility of accelerating the business’s growth in the market, and will be reporting to Jan Zijderveld, chief executive officer.

Extensive background in strategy planning

Marino has had a varied career that has entailed the areas of general management and direct selling, together with consumer and strategic planning, all across a number of global organizations.

Most of this experience has been in the cosmetics and personal care industry in the Latin American region, including executive positions with Natura, where he was latterly chief operating officer and a member of the executive committee.

His most recent position was president of Flora Cosméticos e Limpeza, a bueaty and hygiene company owned by JBS Group, where he led a spike of 15% in the company’s sales growth during his time in office.

Skill set is in turning business around

His other posts have also included a stint at Johnson & Johnson, where he was commercial director, VP of customer development for LATAM, as well as marketing manager and national manager of key accounts for BestFoods.

"We are delighted to welcome José Vicente to our executive leadership team,"​ said Jan Zijderveld, Chief Executive Officer.

"His direct selling expertise, deep knowledge of Brazil, the consumer products industry and disciplined leadership skills, alongside a proven track record in driving growth and turning businesses around, will add tremendous energy to accelerating our business opportunities in Brazil. José Vicente has a strategic mindset and a drive for execution that I am confident will help us make great strides in our commercial operations to generate long-term profitable growth."

Latest results underline challenges

In the first two quarters of this year, the company’s results in Brazil showed a significant slowdown, with sales being particularly hard hit in the second because of the national truck strike.

Sales in Brazil had seen a modest recovery in 2016 and 2017, but that recovery seems to have lost momentum. And with Brazil accounting for more than half of its total sales in the LATAM region, that performance is affecting the group as a whole.

“Avon’s second-quarter results continue to reflect the difficulties the company has been facing in Latin America, especially in Brazil. Despite the positive growth rates seen between 2016 and 2017, Avon´s value sales growth was much lower than those seen in the region as a whole,” ​said Elton Morimitsu, senior research analyst at Euromonitor International

“While Latin America´s beauty and personal care value sales increased by 12% in 2017, Avon posted a 4% growth, in USD value terms.”

The Euromonitor team points out that the trend seen in the LATAM region as a whole since 2017 has also been reflected in Brazil and the other key market, Mexico, where sales growth were both well below the industry averages.

In Brazil the company posted a 4% growth rate during that year, compared to an overall market growth rate of 13% for cosmetics and personal care, while in Mexico sales were only up 1%, compared to a market increase of 6%.

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