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From left, Carlotta Jacobson, president, CEW; Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO, Avon; and Jill Scalamandre, CEW chairwoman and CMO, Chrysallis.
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, Cosmetic Executive Women hosted a Newsmaker Forum with Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO, Avon Products, Inc., at New York’s Harmonie Club. Jung, who reflected on Avon’s 125 years and her own commitment to driving the brand’s growth, shared Avon's philosophy and business strategies.
A welcome from Carlotta Jacobson, president, CEW, who defined Avon as a company “[that] puts mascara on lashes and food on tables,” commended Jung, and Avon, for speaking out for women’s rights, breast cancer research and women’s financial success. “Andrea Jung has connected the company’s success with society’s progress,” said Jacobson, who acknowledged the company’s ability to develop earnings opportunities for women around the world. Jacobson also thanked the sponsors of the event: Prevention, Firmenich, Arcade Marketing, Beauty Inc, WSL/Strategic Retail, Strivectin, Consultancy Media, Kaplow PR and LifeMinute.TV.
Joy Atkinson, vice president, North America, home care, Firmenich, noted that Firmenich had been doing business with Avon for 60 years, and she considers Avon and Jung role models. “Andrea has made a difference for women around the world and has helped them feed their families,” said Atkinson. Jung is one of the most recognized women in the world—she received the 2010 Clinton Global Citizen Award for the corporate sector, was ranked #5 on Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, and #2 on the Financial Times’ Top Women in World Business list for the second year in a row.
Her commitment to the brand and its outreach for women are hallmarks of the “Do well by doing good,” philosophy Jung maintains, which continually works against domestic violence, supports research in breast cancer and maintains the Avon Global Relief Fund.
Jill Scalamandre, CEW chairwoman and CMO, Chrysallis, began the discussion acknowledging Avon’s 125th Anniversary year, which was celebrated by a 16-country world tour beginning in the U.S. and ending in Johannesburg (for more on Avon's 125 years, read Belief in a Mission: Avon Marks 125 Years). Jung provided highlights of the journey and recalled some of the most compelling moments, noting, “For me, what hit home, was that our founder had this vision to empower women 30 years before they were able to vote. As we traveled around the world, one woman got up in Turkey, and after losing everything in an earthquake, she became a top-selling Avon executive in Turkey. Despite protestations from her husband, she bought her family a home and now says she is one of the only women in Turkey whose husband cooks dinner for her.”