- CompanyEstée Lauder
Despite months of protests in Hong Kong hitting luxury brands’ bottom line, strong skin care sales in China have helped drive Estée Lauder stock up 53% year to date under the leadership of president and CEO Fabrizio Freda. The Procter & Gamble alumnus, who at the consumer-products giant worked on everything from health and beauty care to global snacks, is now more than a decade into the job, with acquisitions like Glamglow and Smashbox under his belt.
Those acquisitions are key to Freda’s strategy: He believes major players in beauty need a portfolio of brands to succeed. Looking ahead, Freda is focusing the legacy cosmetics brand on a new kind of globalization—“local relevance” rather than worldwide standardization—and emerging markets, especially China, where he says millennials have a more positive outlook about the future and where he expects 50% of company growth will come from in the next five to 10 years. The change in focus is paying off: Revenues for the $14.8 billion company are up 8.6% over the past year.
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