This Beauty Company Doesn’t Do Business in China
Roberto Marques, group CEO of Natura & Co., visited Fortune’s offices yesterday, just a few days after closing his acquisition of Avon Products. The deal, along with the 2017 acquisition of The Body Shop, has made Natura the world’s fourth largest free-standing beauty company, with 3,000 stores worldwide and 40,000 employees.
Natura has long been on Fortune’s radar for another reason: the Brazilian company was the first public company to become a B-Corp—which requires certification of high levels of social and environmental performance. Marques said B-Corp certification is a “very tough” process, but it was a natural step for Natura, which has long operated with “a triple bottom line”—monitoring social and environmental goals, as well as financial. The company earned a spot on Fortune’s Change the World list in 2018 for its focus on sustainable sourcing of tree oils and other ingredients from the Amazon. “We have over 20 years of history working with communities in the Amazon and have touched more than 5,000 families,” Marques said.
Marques, who joined Natura four years ago, says the company has always pursued social and environmental goals “because it is the right thing to do.” That has become core to the cosmetic brand’s market appeal, and will become an important part of the Avon brand as well.
Interestingly, Natura’s purchase does not include the U.S. Avon business, which was spun off in 2016 and acquired by South Korea’s LG in 2019. Natura also doesn’t do business in China because of an aversion to animal testing. That means the company is largely absent from the world’s two largest markets.
Marques says their aspiration is not to be the biggest beauty company in the world, but rather “the best beauty company for the world.” A worthy goal.
More news below. And for those of you who, like Fortune Editor-in-Chief Clifton Leaf, are obsessed with the profound transformation happening in the health care business, here’s a plug for the Fifth Annual Fortune Brainstorm Health, which is being held in Marina Del Rey, Calif., on April 21-22.
Curated by Cliff, along with cochairs Arianna Huffington and David Agus, this fascinating event explores the collision of the health and tech businesses. It will include, among others, the CEOs of Amgen, Ancestry, AT&T Business, Baxter, Beyond Meat, Box, and Cisco . . . and that only covers through the first three letters of the alphabet! You can learn more and request an invitation here. (CEO Daily readers get special consideration.)
Iran Fires Missiles at U.S. Troops
Last night, Iran retaliated for the killing of the Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, firing ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases that are housing U.S. troops. U.S. officials confirmed both strikes, but no injuries or casualties have been reported. On Tuesday evening, U.S. President Trump tweeted "All is well!" following the strikes. Fortune
Boeing 737 Crashes in Tehran
A Boeing 737-800 bound for Kiev from Tehran crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday morning local time, killing everyone onboard, according to Ukraine International Airlines, the operator. The crash comes at a tense time for Boeing, which is still grappling with the aftermath of two previous crashes, and amid the escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The FT reported that the crash was reportedly due to an engine failure following a fire onboard, and not due to "terrorism." Fortune / FT
Ghosn Puts on a Press Conference
Carlos Ghosn, the former executive-turned-fugitive, is expected to give a press conference in Beirut on Wednesday. After arriving in Lebanon from Japan last week—after an escape that included private planes, security operatives and reportedly, large audio equipment boxes—Ghosn promised that he would use the opportunity to "freely communicate with the media." WSJ
TikTok Security Flaws
The makers of TikTok, the smartphone app used to make short videos, had serious vulnerabilities that may have allowed hackers access to personal information and the ability to manipulate user data, according to a report from a cybersecurity company in Israel. The company said it has patched the security flaws and had no indication that a breach or an attack had occurred. New York Times
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
It's a Trap
The global economy is heading toward a "liquidity trap." That was the warning from Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, as he nears the end of his tenure. In an interview with the FT, Carney warned that central banks were running out of tools to combat a recession, and that they would need to look beyond conventional monetary policy options. FT
The annual CES tech trade show in Las Vegas this week brought a slew of new chips, from giants including Intel, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, writes Fortune's Aaron Pressman. In general, those chips are faster, more efficient upgrades on existing tech, and mean that laptop devices can get still smaller, with longer charge times. Fortune
Sonos Sues Google
The wireless-speaker maker accused Google in a lawsuit on Tuesday of stealing its technology, and sought a ban on the sale of Google's speakers, smartphones and laptops in the U.S. The two companies once worked closely together, matching Google services with Sonos speakers, but the relationship soured as Google built out its own speaker business. WSJ
What Goes Into a Girl Scout Cookie?
And finally, a break from the news, but a serious question: what does it take to develop a new Girl Scout cookie? Among other things: brainstorm sessions, tracking popular flavors and dietary trends, and choosing a name that young girls can easily say—and therefore sell. (The newest in the lineup is called "Lemon-Up.") Fortune
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But that's not all! Fortune is also getting ready to launch a raft of new newsletters, two of which you can sign up for in advance. Fans of the Sino Saturday edition of CEO Daily will be excited to learn that Clay Chandler and the Hong Kong team are preparing a daily newsletter on business in China, called Eastworld. And our Rome-based ace, Bernhard Warner, will write a daily newsletter on finance news, awesomely named Bull Sheet.
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by Katherine Dunn.