Avon seeking new CEO to produce new growth

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2011 6:11 PM
Avon seeking new CEO to produce new growth

Avon Products Inc. is looking for a new CEO as the cosmetics company tries to wrestle free of financial and regulatory woes.

Andrea Jung, its current chairman and CEO, will continue to serve in both roles until a successor is found and then work solely as chairman. Jung has been Avon's CEO since 1999. The company plans to split the roles of CEO and Chairman in 2012.

Avon said Tuesday that it is looking for a new CEO to help put the company back on a growth track.

The company, based in New York, has struggled for some time with erratic financial results and regulatory investigations.

Avon reported in October that its net income fell and missed market expectations. It also said it is reviewing all aspects of its business and withdrew its revenue forecast for the year.

The company, which is known in the U.S. for "Avon ladies" who go door-to-door selling its cosmetics, announced in October that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating its contact with financial analysts in 2010 and 2011.

The SEC also is reviewing Avon's own probe that began in 2008 into bribery by its employees in China.

"A new CEO will provide a fresh lens and additional operational and executive leadership," Jung said in a statement.

Shares of Avon fell 39 cents to close at $16.14. Shares rose 95 cents, nearly 6 percent, to $17.10 in after-hours trading on the news.