By Alan Murray and Geoffrey Smith
March 15, 2017

Good morning.

How does a company whose products are deeply embedded in the physical world cope with digitization?

According to Jean-Paul Agon, CEO of French cosmetics giant L’Oréal, one part of a successful response strategy is the willingness to embrace what he calls “organized chaos.”

In an interview in this month’s edition of our magazine, Agon explains to Fortune’s Erin Griffith that “it allows us to always keep our mind open to new ideas, ready to jump on new trends and take new opportunities.”

“You have hundreds of initiatives and experiments,” he says. Some work, some don’t. The key to good management, it would appear, is knowing when to call time on the bad ones, and judging how far the good ones can be rolled out across the company.

In some ways, the transition has been easier for Agon because “digital is by definition pretty decentralized,” and L’Oréal is a decentralized company anyway, with 34 brands across 140 countries. All but one of those brands were bought, and the French company has made a point of allowing its acquisitions a high degree of independence in fulfilling the potential it saw in them. You can read Erin’s interview in full here.

More news below.

Geoffrey Smith


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