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Jane Lauder is moving up the ranks of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
This story first appeared in the January 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Lauder, who has spent 17 years at the company founded by her family, has been named global brand president of Clinique, one of the beauty group’s top three businesses.
The global size of the Clinique business has been estimated at more than $2 billion wholesale, and it has been described by market analysts as one of the largest prestige brands in the world.
Her promotion also continues to raise the profile and strengthen the bond between the Lauder family and the corporation. The new 40-year-old head of Clinique is one of the granddaughters of Estée Lauder and a member of the board. She is now one step below group president. Lauder will report to Lynne Greene, group president of Clinique, Origins, Ojon, Aveda and Darphin. Greene was named group president in 2012 as part of an alignment of brands and an effort to give potential leaders more opportunity. Lauder’s promotion continues that mission, according to the company, and will enable Greene to focus on “the strategic direction of her brand portfolio and her other significant leadership responsibilities.”
Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer of the corporation, said, “Lynne’s vision combined with her industry-leading creativity has propelled Clinique’s exceptional global results and her close partnership with Jane will enable Clinique’s future success. Jane’s new role reflects her proven talent as one of our valued business leaders and innovative thinkers. Her ability to take brands and help maximize their global potential has been a key driver in our success.”
Lauder is credited with turning around the Origins business in her last position. “She brought it to life with her deep analysis of what the business was and spun it with her great marketing ability,” said Rose Marie Bravo, a longtime Lauder board member. “She’s the real deal, the left and the right brain and the people personality all rolled into one. She has done a great job in every position. She has earned her stripes and proven herself.”
Bravo said Lauder’s greatest strength is a combination of skills, such as being very analytical and having great taste and ability to market.
Lauder’s father Ronald, chairman of Clinique Laboratories LLC, agreed that her greatest strength is a combination of “knowing what women want” and “her grasp of all aspects of the business at one time.” Reached in Budapest, he said, “She is one of the few executives I’ve seen who can understand products and formulas, as well as sales and marketing and domestic as well as international.”
When asked if Lauder could conceivably one day rise to the top, Bravo replied, “She’s a brilliant young woman and anything is possible. Let’s see what she does with Clinique. It’s a mature brand and the closest we have to mass.” Bravo said the Clinique assignment “will be a great test for a future position. She certainly has what it takes.”
Lauder is being succeeded in her previous position by Stephane de la Faverie, who has been named senior vice president and global general manager of Origins, Ojon and Darphin. Both appointments will become effective on April 1. De la Faverie, who joined Lauder from L’Oréal in 2011, initially was senior vice president, global general manager of Aramis and Designer Fragrances. He later added Lab Series and GoodSkin Labs to his responsibilities. According to the company, de la Faverie has helped grow Aramis and Designer Fragrances’ profitability and expanded the designer fragrance portfolio.
“Jane is a very driven and talented leader,” said Greene. “With her deep knowledge of today’s global consumer, I am delighted to have her back on the Clinique team where I know she will be extremely successful in advancing the long heritage of innovation,” added Greene, referring to Lauder’s two-year stint between 2006 and 2008 as senior vice president of marketing at Clinique. “Stephane brings significant experience in multibrand leadership and expertise in skin care,” she added. “His track record demonstrates his strength in successfully growing smaller brands and taking them into new markets.”
“As Jane and Stephane continue on their Estée Lauder journey, we grow as a company — leveraging their strengths to drive our success,” said William P. Lauder, executive chairman and Jane Lauder’s cousin. “Both are terrific leaders who consistently recognize global opportunities and, most of all, inspire their teams to deliver excellence.”
There are also changes in Clinique in France. Boris Janicek, former managing director for Clinique in Benelux, has been appointed general manager of the French business. He succeeds Philippe Despax, who has left the company.