Avon creates Digital Board to propel ambitious digital innovation program
LONDON, July 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE : AVP ), a global leader in direct selling of beauty products, today announced that Benedetto Conversano has been appointed to the newly-created role of SVP, Chief Digital & Information Technology Officer, effective September 3. Mr. Conversano will succeed Sue Liddie, GVP, Chief Information Officer who is retiring and he will assume additional responsibilities for leading Avon's digital strategy. Benedetto will report to Jonathan Myers, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and to Jan Zijderveld, CEO, in his duties leading a new Digital Board for Avon.
Benedetto Conversano is a seasoned global business leader with decades of proven experience developing and implementing successful digital, e-commerce and IT strategies across global organizations. He most recently served as Chief Global Information Officer at Jeronimo Martins, a €16 billion revenue international food, health and beauty retailer, where he was responsible for their global strategy to "Grow efficient, digital and consumer relevant" B2C transformation.
Prior to this, Mr. Conversano served on IKEA's E-Commerce board, and was the architect of the digital transformation, steering the development of the new global multi-channel, e-commerce capability that was instrumental in the evolution of IKEA's business model, while leading the development and implementation of IKEA's global IT strategy. Before this, Benedetto worked for 15 years at the consumer packaged goods business, Procter & Gamble (P&G), where he built CRM, ERP and Sales Force Automation systems, which helped to transform the business and built one of P&G's first 'big-data' systems. Benedetto was a finalist in the European CIO of the Year 2018 and completed a Masters in Electronic Engineering and Microelectronics.
Mr. Conversano will be responsible for developing a new digital strategy as a foundational element of Avon's future plans, while building, developing and standardizing technology solutions and delivery across the global organization. As part of this ambition, Avon is founding a Digital Board comprised of digital, commercial and other business leaders. The Digital Board will be led by Benedetto.
"We are thrilled for the opportunity to benefit from Benedetto's proven, strong strategic, consumer-focused digital, technological and operational skillset, having played a pioneering role in helping some of the world's best-known brands deploy consumer-friendly digital platforms," said Jan Zijderveld, Chief Executive Officer. "Avon is undergoing a period of significant change, and customer-friendly digital interfaces, supported by a much more efficient technology infrastructure and rich data analytics, are a key strategic driver of the organization's future progress."
"This is an exciting time for Avon and I am eager to jump in to this newly-created role during a turnaround," said Mr. Conversano. "I am impressed with Avon's long history of providing great innovation to customers globally and believe digitization is at the heart of advancing Avon's brand relevancy and Representative and consumer loyalty. I look forward to working with Jan, Jonathan and Avon's executive leadership team to grow the Company's digital platform for the 6 million Representatives and their customers and to execute a strong global IT strategy to drive efficiencies across the organization, increase sales growth and reach higher levels of profitability."
Jan Zijderveld continued, "I would like to thank Sue Liddie for many achievements during the last eight years with the business. She has helped to transform the IT function, while helping to deliver some key Representative IT initiatives into key markets."
Heather Payne appointed Chief Technology Officer
Heather Payne has also been appointed as Chief Technology Officer, reporting into Benedetto, having previously served as Chief Technology Officer for DMG media (Daily Mail Group), an international multi-channel media company, where she oversaw IT changes across all functions of the business, including completing the transformation of technology and change process and co-creating the innovation strategy for the business. Prior to this, Ms. Payne was Group Head of IT, Hotel Inventory & Complementary at Thomas Cook Group, where she was responsible for a program that established a new business model, platform and organization, leading teams across Europe. She previously held senior roles in IT for Hotels4U, Avis and Ford.
About Avon Products, Inc.
Avon is the Company that for 130 years has proudly stood for beauty, innovation, optimism and, above all, for women. Avon products include well-recognized and beloved brands such as ANEW, Avon Color, Avon Care, Skin-So-Soft, and Advance Techniques sold through approximately 6 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avoncompany.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including Avon's efforts to implement its new digital strategy that will help drive efficiencies, increase sales growth and reach higher levels of profitability. Because forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties, actual future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the possibility of business disruption, competitive uncertainties, and general economic and business conditions in Avon's markets as well as the other risks detailed in Avon's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Avon undertakes no obligation to update any statements in this press release for changes that happen after the date of this release.