By  on June 24, 2005

NEW YORK — Avon Products has named former Stila executive Claudia Poccia president of its young-spirited Mark brand, a post that has remained vacant since Deborah Fine left the company in January to join Limited Brands as chief executive officer of Pink.

Avon's chairman and chief executive officer Andrea Jung said the selection of Poccia, "speaks volumes about Avon's commitment to Mark." She added that Poccia is the right leader to build the next generation of Avon consumers.

Poccia previously served as senior vice president and general manager of Stila Cosmetics, owned by The Estee Lauder Cos. She will begin her new role Nov. 1 and report to Brian C. Connolly, executive vice president and president of Avon North America.

The pair worked together in the early Nineties when Poccia served as Avon's field director of marketing. "She was a superstar even then," said Connolly. "What she's done at Stila has been aspirational," referring to the impact Poccia's success has had on the development of Mark. He added that Poccia has a keen sensibility for what young women want.

She will be charged with driving Mark's growth in the U.S. and leading the two-year-old brand's international expansion. In the second quarter, Mark expanded south to Mexico, its first international market. The brand has plans to enter Canada and Puerto Rico next year, and has earmarked Europe, Japan and Latin America for early 2007.

Mark also continues to evolve into a lifestyle brand, expanding into categories such as accessories and loungewear. "I feel so strongly about having a lifestyle brand that would help regenerate Avon," said Jung. "And I think we've accomplished that with Mark."

In 2004, Mark generated sales of $47 million, and is on pace to end the year with $70 million in sales, reported Jung.

"This brand has been on my radar," said Poccia. She added that Mark's focus on empowering young women through financial independence, and Avon's corporate commitment to be the premiere company for women has added a new dimension to beauty. "That whole spirit really resonates with me," said Poccia.

For her new assignment, Poccia will relocate from L.A. to New York. Her first order of business, she acknowledged, will be to get comfortably entrenched within the Mark team. She noted, "There is such a dynamic team at Mark that I think the wise thing to do is listen and learn" before delving into strategy. Since 1994, Poccia has held various marketing and sales positions at The Estee Lauder Companies, including posts at Estee Lauder USA and Canada. She joined Stila in 2000. She has also held positions at Giorgio Beverly Hills and L'Oreal.

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