NEW YORK — Lynne Greene has been named president of specialty groups worldwide at the Estée Lauder Cos. in charge of the Prescriptives, La Mer, Jo Malone and Kate Spade divisions.
She is succeeding Pamela Baxter, who is leaving Lauder after more than 21 years to join LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton as president of its U.S. beauty group. Greene, who currently is president of Lauder’s Origins Natural Resources division, will report to group president Dan Brestle. He described her as “the consummate beauty professional,” whose team-building skills, global abilities and experience in education, marketing, sales and retailing make her “ideal for this job.”
“Lynne has had tremendous global vision and experience at Origins,” said William Lauder, chief operating officer, who also founded Origins. “We are confident that she can apply that expertise to the multi-brand opportunities in the specialty group.”
Brestle added that in Greene he is getting a seasoned veteran with top-notch management abilities, who did “a great job with Origins.” He described her new territory as a “very explosive area” that requires expert management. Brestle expressed confidence that Greene has the ability to “organize and be quick to pick up on the buzz of the business.”
The challenge is sharpened by the fact that the four brands are each at different stages of life and moving at different growth speeds. Lauder does not break out sales results, but industry sources estimate that the four specialty brands generate a combined $250 million in annual wholesale volume.
Jo Male and Kate Spade are still in their infancy, La Mer has enjoyed rocketing growth and Prescriptives is a well-established brand that has found new footing. Brestle said Prescriptives is “the healthiest it has been in years.” He also described it as an “adventuresome brand following its recent selling success on QVC.”
Brestle praised Poppy King for restoring panache to Prescriptives’ color cosmetics business, and he said that the brand’s authority has been tremendously strengthened by the addition of dermatologist Karyn Grossman as exclusive skin care consultant. Brestle has long been quoted as predicting that dermatologists will become a driving factor in the skin care business.
At the same time, Brestle tipped his hat to the job done by the departing Baxter, particularly in the case of La Mer, which is one of the most profitable as well as fastest-growing brands in the Lauder constellation. He described her as La Mer’s “protector,” as well as “the architect of the brand.”
The effective date of Greene’s appointment was given as Oct. 1. Lauder said a successor will be found to take the helm at Origins.
Greene began her career in cosmetics in 1976 as an account executive for the Lauder brand in St. Louis. Two years later, she became a regional executive, and in 1979 moved to New York as Lauder’s national education director. She left the company in 1981 and held a succession of senior posts during the next 16 years at Chanel, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent and Sears Circle of Beauty. In the middle of that period — from 1984 to 1987 — Greene returned to the Lauder brand as vice president and national accounts and field sales manager.
In 1997, she returned to the corporation again as vice president of sales at Origins. She was promoted to senior vice president and general manager in 1998 and president in 2000. Greene was given global responsibilities for the brand in the corporate reorganization of 2001.