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Avon Taps Johnson & Johnson's Sherilyn McCoy As CEO - Update

Cosmetics maker Avon Products, Inc. (AVP), which last week rejected a cash bid worth about $10 billion from fragrance maker Coty, Inc., on Monday appointed Sherilyn McCoy as Chief Executive Officer as it aims to execute strong long-term prospects.

McCoy, a 30-year veteran at drug and healthcare major Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), will join Avon on April 23 to succeed Andrea Jung. McCoy, who holds four U.S. patents, will also serve as a director on Avon's Board. Jung, who has been Avon's CEO since 1999, will continue to serve the company as Executive Chairman.

While rejecting Coty's unsolicited bid on March 2 deeming it as "opportunistic and not in the best interest of Avon's shareholders" Avon had said that it remains confident in its prospects as a stand-alone company and remains committed to executing against what it believes are its strong long-term prospects. Avon has been searching for a new CEO after it separated the roles of Chairman and CEO in 2012.

Commenting on the appointment, Avon's lead director Fred Hassan said, "Given her consistent record of outperforming against new challenges, we have great confidence that under Sheri's leadership Avon can successfully execute against our strong long-term prospects."

At Johnson & Johnson, McCoy is currently Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee with responsibility over Pharmaceutical, Consumer, Corporate Office of Science & Technology, and Information Technology divisions. She joined the company in 1982 as a scientist and was appointed to her current responsibilities in January, 2011.

While noting that McCoy would resign from the firm effective April 18, JNJ Chairman and CEO William Weldon said, "During these last several years, she was instrumental in helping to bring stronger strategic focus to our Pharmaceutical business as it builds a robust pipeline and launches important new medicines; and to our Consumer business as it leverages the success of its iconic brands and worked to resolve some recent challenges."

In pre-market activity, Avon shares lost $0.62 or 2.65 percent and are currently trading at $22.80, while JNJ shares lost $0.43 or 0.66 percent and currently at $64.91.

by RTT Staff Writer

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