After just under a year and a half of grooming, the time has come for Fabrizio Freda to take the helm at Estée Lauder. On July 1st, he will begin as president, whilst William Lauder, son of Leonard Lauder will become executive chairman, and his father, Leonard Lauder will become chairman emeritus (this means that he's actually retired, however, he'll still hold an honorary title). Freda came to Lauder as president of Global Snacks for Procter & Gamble and signed on to help restructure Esteè Lauder who was beginning to face economic troubles.
In a recent interview Fabrizio Freda told WWD,
"The landscape I found is a great company with great brands, very strong people and an amazing relationship with their channel — their core channel — and a great ability to execute in store. Most importantly, amazing creativity and entrepreneurship are really in the genes of the company. On the other hand, I found a company with little ability to exploit scale, little ability to leverage the strengths across the opportunities and across the markets internationally."
What we can expect to see within the 29 of our favourite brands (can you guess which ones are under the Esteè Lauder umbrella?) is a great deal of restructuring including six per cent layoffs (around 2,000 job cuts) within the next two years. This will hopefully tighten up the company's wallet and cut costs. In the interview, Freda makes it very clear that the luxury brand character of the company will remain intact. The thought of Esteè Lauder struggling is pretty scary and indicative of the times, so I'm certainly excited for change. What are your feelings about beauty's survival during the credit crunch?