Avon names Diageo exec as new Chief Beauty & Brand Officer
Beauty, fashion and gifts giant Avon has announced the appointment of James Thompson as Chief Beauty & Brand Officer as of November 1. He joins after spending 24 years at drinks leader Diageo where he was most recently Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer for the group’s North America unit.
He’ll focus on “leveraging the strength of Avon's beauty marketing and innovation to create more agile category teams that will be structured to work much more closely with Avon's markets. He will also spearhead the rejuvenation of Avon's brand” and will report to COO Jonathan Myers.
Despite having no recent beauty experience he has an undeniably strong track record in relevant areas to the company. For a start, he’s worked on three different continents, and has “led a fundamental strategic overhaul and restructuring, including a culture and organisation transformation.”
As Global MD of Diageo's Luxury Portfolio, he led a total review of that portfolio “resulting in the company accelerating growth to gain leadership of the luxury drinks market, despite a slowdown in the market.”
And that should be useful in a beauty market that may be more buoyant than the fashion sector but that still has its challenges.
But he does have experience of one major name that operates in Avon's own sector having also spent 10 years at Unilever in various marketing positions.
"Chief Beauty & Brand Officer is a strategically vital role at Avon, and we couldn't be more pleased to have an executive of James' calibre join us," said Myers, highlighting his well established track record of turning around large and small brands throughout the world at both luxury and mainstream price points. “We are confident that James' breadth of experience, in-depth digital capabilities, and new product marketing and innovation expertise will further deepen Avon's connection with its consumers and representatives,” he added.
Avon's current GVP, Global Brand Marketing, Alex Long, will transition to GVP, Global Commercial Marketing “to drive marketing execution, brochure excellence and revenue growth management across the organisation.”
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