Avon CEO expected to step down: WSJ

The Avon Products headquarters is seen in midtown Manhattan area of New York, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Avon Products Inc AVP.N Chief Executive Sheri McCoy is expected to step down, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Activist investor Barington Capital has been pressuring the cosmetics company to search for a new chief executive, saying Avon’s shares have suffered under McCoy.

Avon's stock has sunk about 84 percent since McCoy took charge as CEO in April 2012 and, in one of her first moves, rejected a $10.7 billion takeover bid from Coty Inc COTY.N. (

McCoy is near a decision to retire, and the terms of her departure are still being worked out but no final decision has been made, the report said. (

The company, which pioneered door-to-door selling, has been struggling with changing consumer tastes, raising concerns that its more than 130-year-old sale model is outdated and unable to attract shoppers who want instant gratification.

In a bid to turn around the business in 2015, Avon sold more than 80 percent of its North American business to New York-based hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management. (

Early last year, the company announced a three-year turnaround plan to cut $350 million in costs, invest in technology and tap social media.

However, Avon has reported a loss in five of the last eight quarters.

The company was not immediately available for comment. Avon’s shares closed up 4.6 percent at $3.66 on Wednesday.

Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur