Avon Selects J&J Executive as New CEO

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Avon is hoping a new CEO can give it a much-needed makeover.

The struggling cosmetics seller on Monday tapped long-time Johnson & Johnson executive Sherilyn S. McCoy as its new chief executive. The announcement ended a four-month search to replace embattled CEO Andrea Jung, who had come under fire for failing to stem the company's declines and wrap up a bribery investigation.

Avon Products Inc. said Jung -- the first female CEO of the 126- year-old company -- will remain executive chairman after McCoy takes over later this month. Shares of the New York-based company fell more than 3 percent yesterday.

McCoy's emergence at Avon comes less than two months after she was passed over for the top spot at Johnson & Johnson, which in February announced that Alex Gorsky would take over as CEO. Bill Weldon, who has served as J&J's chief executive for the past decade, plans to step down at the company's annual shareholder meeting on April 26.

The announcement from Avon was made just a week after the company rejected a $10 billion takeover offer from the smaller beauty products maker Coty Inc.

Founded in 1886, Avon became a fixture in households across the country as its legions of "Avon ladies" went door to door selling makeup to family, friends and acquaintances. Its brands include Avon Color, Skin-So-Soft and mark.

The company markets its products in more than 100 countries through about 6. …