TIMELINE-Key dates in Avon's history

March 16 (Reuters) - Avon Products Inc is facing a slide in U.S. sales and an exodus of active sales representatives. Here are some key dates in the cosmetics company’s history.

1886 - California Perfume Co is founded by David H. McConnell. P.F.E. Albee, a 50-year-old woman, becomes the company’s first rep. It has 10,000 by 1902.

1914 - The company’s first operations abroad start in Montreal.

1928 - The company starts using the name “Avon” for certain products. Eleven years later, it is renamed Avon Products Inc.

1946 - Avon goes public by issuing over-the-counter stock. In 1964, it lists on the New York Stock Exchange.

1954 - Avon launches its classic “Ding Dong, Avon Calling” campaign that will run until 1967.

1978 - The number of reps hits 1 million.

1979 - Avon goes on a shopping spree that includes upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co. Avon will sell those off in 1984.

1990 - Avon enters China, then adopts a retail model there in 1998 after China bans direct selling.

1999 - Andrea Jung becomes Avon’s first female CEO.

2006 - Avon wins a direct selling license in China.

2007 - U.S. sales hit $2.62 billion, only to start shrinking in the following years.

2008 - Avon starts an internal probe into whether staff broke U.S. anti-bribery laws in regard to its business in China. The probe has since been extended to other countries.

Sales hit the $10 billion milestone.

2011 - In October, Avon discloses that the U.S. government is conducting a probe into whether it broke anti-bribery laws and disclosure laws. In December, the company says Jung will step down as CEO but stay on as executive chairman, citing her role in “motivating” the troops.

2012 - In February, Avon reports the number of North American “reps” fell 8 percent in 2011 and says it is planning job cuts.

Source: Company documents, filings