Wednesday, December 9, 2015

STRUGGLING AVON USES TOP SUPPLY CHAIN EXECUTIVE AND STRATEGY HEAD


Omnichannel and the New Supply Chain to drive it are not retail options. Those who fail to adapt...




Avon Strategy Chief Brian Salsberg and Supply-Chain Head David Powell to Leave

Departures come as embattled cosmetics giant restructures and explores strategic options



The executive changes come as 130-year-old Avon is close to selling its North American operations to a private-equity firm and dealing with the arrival of an activist investor. ENLARGE
The executive changes come as 130-year-old Avon is close to selling its North American operations to a private-equity firm and dealing with the arrival of an activist investor. Photo: John Taggart/Bloomberg News
Two top executives of Avon Products Inc. AVP 2.42 % are leaving, according to people familiar with the matter, as the embattled cosmetics giant restructures its operations and explores strategic options.
Brian Salsberg, senior vice president for global strategy, and David Powell, senior vice president for business transformation and global supply chain, plan to leave at year-end, one of the people said. Their exits were communicated within the company last month, this person added. The two executives declined to comment on Wednesday.
Both executives were brought to Avon in 2013 by Chief Executive Sherilyn McCoy in her effort to turn around the company.
James Scully, who joined Avon as finance chief earlier this year, will assume more strategic and operational duties as a result of the departures, these people added. In November, Avon said Mr. Scully would take on the added role of chief operating officer starting Jan. 1. On an earnings conference call last month, Ms. McCoy said Mr. Scully was taking on expanded duties “in order to create better operating efficiencies and effectiveness.” At that time, she also disclosed other shifts in Avon’s management structure.
The executive changes come as the 130-year-old company is close to selling its North American operations to a private-equity firm and dealing with the arrival of an activist investor, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
Avon is in talks to sell part of its business to Cerberus Capital Management LP, which would become one of the company’s biggest shareholders. Meanwhile, an activist group including Barington Capital Group LP has purchased a stake of about 3% and says the company needs new directors.
Both Messrs. Powell and Salsberg currently serve on Avon’s executive committee. It is unclear what role they would have played in the organization if Avon completes a transaction with Cerberus.
Mr. Powell, 58 years old, spent more than 10 years at Johnson & Johnson, JNJ -0.26 % where Ms. McCoy was a senior executive before she joined Avon in 2012. He joined the company the following year. His duties include overseeing Avon’s cost-cutting efforts.
Mr. Salsberg, 42, occupies a position that Avon created when it recruited him in 2013 from McKinsey & Co., where he had co-led the management consulting firm’s consumer and retail practice in Asia.
Their exits are part of a series of changes in Avon’s top management structure.