Andrea Jung, Long-Standing Avon CEO, Steps Down From Role
Andrea Jung, the CEO and chairperson of Avon, has stepped down, cutting short the longest-serving tenure of a female CEO in the Fortune 500.
Avon said Tuesday it has launched a search for CEO candidates outside the company. Once a suitable candidate is found, Jung will step aside and serve as full-time executive chairman, the WSJ reports.
Jung became CEO in November 1999, making her the first woman to lead the consumer-products company.
She was praised for her attention to detail, including once insisting on a redesign of Avon's lipstick cases because she felt the swivel mechanism wasn't smooth enough.
Yesterday’s announcement by the global beauty company came as a surprise, despite Avon’s stock having been nearly halved in the last year, The Washington Post reports.
The company has also been struggling in key emerging markets like Brazil and Russia, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is examining whether Avon disclosed material information regarding a bribery probe.
Jung, 53, also sits on the boards of Apple Inc. and General Electric Co. She was unavailable for comment but an Avon spokesman said she suggested separating the chairman and CEO jobs.
"Andrea made the recommendation and the Board fully supported it," the spokesman said, reports the WSJ.
Following the news about Jung, Avon’s shares rose about 5 percent in after-hours trading. The stock had closed at $16.14 at 4 p.m., down 2.4 percent.