Skip to main content

This Investor Day, Avon Is ‘on the Operating Table,’ Says CEO

The business is launching a program to allow sales reps to have e-commerce operations.

Avon’s new chief executive officer is planning a big operation, set to be unveiled at the company’s investor day on Friday.

“The big thing theme is opening up Avon,” Jan Zijderveld told WWD.

That means setting up a more open culture, he said, as well as opening up the company to more representatives, consumers and opportunities. Avon is launching a new e-rep program, which will allow the company’s salesforce to open online shops in addition to peddle beauty products via physical brochure.

“Even today, almost half of our recruits are below 30,” Zijderveld said. “We’ve got lots of young people coming in…[physically delivering] is not great for many of the young people so we’re going to give them the tools and the technology to be able to run their business through e-commerce and digitally.”

Zijderveld’s plan comes after he’s instituted many changes at the business — including bringing in a slew of new executives — and started the digitization movement with the launch of an e-brochure that representatives can message to their customer bases. He’s also working to get the business to move faster in terms of product innovation, and simplify the back end of operations. That includes things like the planned sale of the company’s Rye, N.Y., facility, as well as streamlining certain operations to reinvest in digital initiatives, he noted.

You May Also Like

“We’re really on the operating table. How fast the recovery is is always the question, and as with a patient on the operating table, this takes time,” Zijderveld said, declining to provide a specific timeline for the company’s turnaround.

“We’re in the reset moment. It’s about resetting the company, and then stabilizing…then we talk about how do we go into acceleration and then we go into momentum,” Zijderveld said.

For more on Zijderveld’s turnaround plan for Avon, see at 8 a.m. EST.