The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. has named Patricia Lopez senior vice president and general manager for the Estée Lauder and Aerin Beauty brands in North America.

This story first appeared in the December 9, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Lopez succeeds Nancy McKay, a 28-year veteran of the company who left Lauder in mid-November to join Nest Fragrances as chief executive officer.

Lopez was most recently Avon’s chief marketing officer and global brand and category president, as Patricia Perez-Ayala. In that role, she drove Avon’s strategic direction and managed the company’s $10 billion global marketing and research and development business. Avon eliminated the chief marketing officer role in November, assigning the position’s duties to Fernando Acosta, senior vice president and president of Latin America for Avon.

Lopez spent 25 years at Procter & Gamble before moving to Avon in December 2012. Her last position at P&G was as vice president and general manager for Eastern Europe, among P&G’s top five largest markets.

Lopez’s last day at Avon is Jan. 2 and she will assume her new post at Lauder on Jan. 12. She will report to Thia Breen, group president of North America for the Estée Lauder Cos., and Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president for the Estée Lauder brand. “Patricia will be responsible for the flagship brand of the company in North America, overseeing strategy, retail channels, the growth of online, locally relevant programs and media strategies,” said Hudis. “Patricia will also nurture and develop Aerin Beauty.”

Hudis noted that the Estée Lauder brand is “on a mission” to bring younger consumers into the fold, particularly in North America — something she’s counting on Perez to help her achieve.

“North America is the birthplace and the home market of the Estée Lauder brand, and it is one of the brand’s top strategic goals right now,” said Hudis, noting the current Lauder customer in North America is 40-plus. “There is a massive growth opportunity for the brand if we can pull in new consumers. We cherish the customers we have, but we also want to reach past her for the next generation.”

Developments in this direction have included the brand’s recent signing of 19-year-old Kendall Jenner as a face of the brand and sharpening the brand’s focus on digital platforms and assets, including a recently launched editorial effort called The Estée Edit. And more strategies are on the way, said Hudis. “We are going to be more surprising and less expected, to have a modern attitude and point of view,” she said, declining to be more specific. “Patricia brings a fresh view to a massive growth opportunity and will help drive this evolution forward in our home market.”

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