|Avon CEO Presentation|
Good afternoon everyone. I can't tell you how honored I am to be here with you to talk about my thoughts on leadership and to share my experiences as one of only a handful of women today running a major global corporation.
As I look out at all of you .... some at the beginning stages of your careers....some well along the road to your future.... wherever you are on your own personal path I can promise you a world of opportunity and excitement. Anything you choose to do is within your reach. How far you go will depend on how high you set your dreams and how hard you work to achieve them. But whatever path you take, the foundation provided by a good education will make success come that much easier, I promise you.
I have shared my experiences on leadership with many different groups of people all over the world. But being here in the country where my parents and grandparents were born - a country to which I continue to feel strong emotional and intellectual ties -- is an enormous privilege and a dream come true.
I consider myself a relatively recent member of a new generation of business leaders faced with a dizzying pace of change and a global economic and political environment that are redefined by the day in this tumultuous 21st century.
I was offered the job as CEO of Avon four years ago, and it has certainly been an experience of a lifetime for me ever since. We've had a spectacular success, modernizing everything about the company from top to bottom.
With sales that this year will top $6.7 billion USD and a stock price which is at an all-time high, we've certainly had some incredible results. Avon has been named one of Fortune magazine's most admired companies and we've made Business Week's list of the world's most valuable brands for three years in a row.
You may not realize this, but Avon does business in 143 countries and we sell our products through more than four million independent sales representatives through our now-famous direct selling distribution model.
Of all the countries where Avon does business, China is without doubt our fastest growing market. Avon entered China in 1990, and we were the first international direct selling company to open our doors here. Over the years we have adapted our selling techniques to the unique needs of the Chinese consumers. Today, we sell our products in a variety of different ways, with broad distribution through 5,000 independent Beauty Boutiques, owned and operated by entrepreneurs who are building successful Avon businesses.