May 5, 2017
Barington Capital calls for Avon CEO search
May 5, 2017
Barington Capital renewed its pressure on cosmetics maker Avon Products Inc, calling on the company to search for a new chief executive, according to a release seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Barington said that Avon's shares have suffered under Chief Executive Officer Sheri McCoy and that the company needs "the right leadership in place" to recover its position as a leading beauty brand, according to the document.
Barington said its investor group includes NuOrion Partners AG. The New York based activist investor owned 2.8 million shares of Avon worth $14.5 million as of Dec. 31, filings show.
Avon announced a three-year turnaround plan in January 2016 to cut $350 million in costs, invest in technology and tap social media to revive sales amid concerns that its direct-selling model is outdated. The company said it realized about $120 million in cost savings last year and is on track to achieve the plans.
But such cuts are still not helping its bottom line. Avon closed its fiscal year in February 2017, posting a 2.4% decline in annual sales, part of a four-year streak of dwindling revenues as the company struggles with the changing tastes of consumers, who prefer niche brands.
The company has also seen a significant drop in the number of its famous "Avon Ladies" - representatives who sell door to door. Active representatives in the quarter fell 3 percent.
With additional reporting from Fashion Network
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