Avon chairman leaves in latest leadership change

NEW YORK (AP) - Avon said Friday that Fred Hassan, its non-executive chairman, has resigned from the board, the company's latest management change.

Hassan had just become chairman at the start of the year, replacing the direct seller of beauty product's longtime leader, Andrea Jung.

Doug Conant, a current director on Avon's board and the former CEO of Campbell Soup Co., has replaced Hassan.

CEO Sherilyn McCoy, who came on a year ago, was tasked with turning around Avon Products Inc., seller of products including Skin So Soft lotion and mark cosmetics. The company is working to cut costs, aiming for $400 million in cost savings by 2016. It has slashed jobs and cut its dividend after suffering sales declines, a bribery probe and other problems. It has announced plans to exit several markets, including Ireland, South Korea and Vietnam.

Hassan is leaving to spend more time on other professional commitments, Avon said. He is non-executive chairman of Bausch & Lomb, a managing director at private equity firm Warburg Pincus and on the board of Time Warner Inc.

The board also on Friday named Kimberly Ross, Avon's chief financial officer, as a board member, effective May 2. The move was made in order to maintain the minimum number of directors required by Avon, and Ross is expected to step down once the company finds a new, independent director.

In its most recent quarter, Avon posted a wider loss as it marked down the value of its Silpada jewelry business and restructured. It was still better than Wall Street had expected, however, and McCoy said there were signs that business was stabilizing.

Avon shares fell 44 cents, or 2 percent, to $21.91 in late morning trading.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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