NEW YORK — Thursday proved to be a busy day over at The Estée Lauder Cos., with North American presidents being named to Estée Lauder and Clinique, the market’s two top brands.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Eunice Valdivia has been named president of Clinique North America and Janet Cook is the new head of Estée Lauder North America. Both appointments are effective Jan. 1.
These appointments — as well those noted below —?wrap up a series of executive changes that began at The Estée Lauder Cos., parent of both brands, in September. At that time, William Lauder, the Lauder group president overseeing Clinique and Origins and the online division, was elevated to chief operating officer.
In turn, that triggered a series of additional executive changes. Previously, Lauder had been a group president in charge of the Clinique and Origins brands, as well as the online division. Philip Shearer, formerly group president of the international division, was named to Lauder’s post; Cedric Prouve, who had been president and general manager of the Lauder affiliate in Japan since 2000, was named to the international group presidency, and Christopher Wood, director and general manager of Lauder’s Korean affiliate, was named to Prouve’s former position.
The September appointments followed a June 2001 restructuring, in which the rest of the top management was revamped with the appointment of four group presidents and several brand presidents, all with global responsibilities.
Valdivia had been executive vice president of global marketing and finance for Clinique. She will assume duties formerly performed by Thia Breen, who had been senior vice president and general manager of Clinique North America, and who has resigned. This confirms a report that ran in WWD on Thursday. Valdivia, in addition to overseeing sales, promotion, marketing services and brand operations for North America, will also oversee the global sales education area, and will report to Shearer.
“Eunice has been involved with the brand for many years and has made extraordinary contributions to it,” said Shearer. “She is by far one of the best people to help continue the growth of this extraordinary brand.”
Valdivia started with Clinique in February 1969 as a secretary, and counts Carol Phillips, one of the founders of Clinique, as a mentor. In that spirit, Valdivia’s ready to rev up what is already the number-one brand: “The potential of this brand is enormous,” she said. “Even though it is already number one, we have many more opportunities to explore. Our challenge is to keep every single part of the business growing and strong.”
Cook was general manager for Estée Lauder North America, but her first job with the company was more grass roots: She started as a beauty adviser for Estée Lauder at G. Fox in Hartford, Conn., in 1966. From there, she moved on to a number of executive positions for Aramis and Clinique — including vice president and national sales manager for Aramis and vice president and general manager of Clinique’s international sales and marketing operation — before being named in 2001 to her current position of general manager of Estée Lauder North America. She will continue to report to Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, the group president in charge of the Estée Lauder brand, as well as MAC Cosmetics and the fragrance division, which includes Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan and Aramis.
Cook plans to continue the Estée Lauder brand’s new look this spring. “A new consumer focus is one of our major objectives,” said Cook, noting that newness will account for about 20 percent of Lauder’s spring assortment. “That newness will come from three areas — formulation, packaging and new products — in our three key pillars, skin care, makeup and fragrance.”
“Janet’s leadership in driving renewed growth in the U.S. market for Estée Lauder, despite the most challenging retail environment in more than a decade, has made her an invaluable member of our team,” said Bousquet-Chavanne. “She is an inspirational leader to the field. Her ability to focus the entire field organization to drive new product successes has been critical to our brand acceleration.”
Additionally, in a move related to Valdivia’s appointment, Kim Fiore, currently regional vice president for Clinique and headquartered in Dallas, has been named senior vice president and national sales manager for Clinique, effective Jan.1. Fiore joined Clinique in September 1989 as an account executive based in Raleigh, N.C. She will report to Valdivia and will relocate to the New York office.