Avon logo on mobile.
Avon logo on mobile. rafapress / Shutterstock.com

Avon Products announced on Friday its CEO Jan Zijderveld will step down, effective immediately, concurrent with the closing of the sale of the company to Brazilian-based Natura &Co.

Zijderveld took the helm at the company in February 2018.

He will be replaced by Angela Cretu, who is responsible for the business outside of Latin America and for the oversight of the Avon brand globally.

In his nearly two years at Avon‘s helm, Mr. Zijderveld has been instrumental in turning around the company through its Open Up strategy, which aims at making Avon the digital social selling beauty company by rebuilding the fundamentals and modernizing its model.

This started with strengthening the brand proposition and driving price improvements.  Reinvesting in Avon’s beauty entrepreneurs and launching the digitization of the business, all the while enhancing productivity across the business, transforming its culture and restoring the relevance of this iconic business and brand.

The landmark transaction creates the world’s fourth-largest pure-play beauty company.

“This marks a major new step in building a purpose-driven group committed to a different way of doing business,” the Brazilian personal care cosmetics group said in a statement.

Natura also owns Aesop and The Body Shop.

David Boynton will remain CEO of The Body Shop, continuing driving the transformation and brand revitalisation which is underway and already yielding positive results. He was formerly CEO of Charles Tyrwhitt and CEO for Western Markets for L´Occitane.

Michael O’Keeffe, CEO of Aesop since 2003, also remains in his current position, driving the high growth of this unique and prestigious brand and, with the support of the rest of the group, transforming it into a true triple bottom line business.

The combination of Avon, Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop significantly amplifies the reach of a multi-channel, multi-brand group that will be an unparalleled leader in the Direct-to-Consumer space, bringing beauty to over 200 million consumers across the world anytime, anywhere, every day through multiple channels, touchpoints and iconic brand.

Natura &Co will hold leading positions in relationship selling, on and offline, through both Avon and Natura, with over 6.3 million consultants and representatives.

The group will also have a strong position in retail with more than 3,000 stores and an expanded digital presence across all the companies. Natura will have combined annual gross revenues of over $10 billion (R143 billion), more than 40,000 associates, a broad and complementary product portfolio across key categories and a global footprint in over 100 countries.

Roberto Marques, who became executive chairman of Natura in 2017, will also serve as Group CEO.

He has extensive global experience and a strong transformation track record in the consumer goods industry, having held, prior to Natura, various senior leadership roles at Johnson & Johnson and Mondelez International for over 30 years.

“Alongside the experienced, diverse and international senior management team we are announcing today, I am proud and privileged to lead Natura’s next steps in its journey,” said Marques.

“Our aspiration is to build not just the best beauty company in the world, but the best beauty company FOR the world. With the addition of Avon, we have created a family of companies with unrivalled direct-to-consumer reach and a formidable platform for growth.

“I am looking forward to working together to drive further our triple bottom line approach and write the next chapter in our journey.”

Zijderveld said: “The combination of Avon with Natura &Co is a transformational event and the right moment for Avon to start its next growth phase.

“I will leave Avon with a feeling of pride for what we have accomplished together with the company’s talented and passionate people and teams.

“With the Open Up strategy, we have made significant progress in building a more stable foundation from which Avon can grow well into the future,” explains Zijderveld.

“We have modernized the brand, sharpened the portfolio and brought on-trend, innovative products to our consumers. Most importantly, we have put our passionate representatives back at the heart of everything we do, empowering them to grow their business and reach new consumers.

“Natura is the right home for Avon to accelerate its Open Up strategy and continue to change women’s lives, and I will be cheering from the sidelines.”

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