February 5, 2018 / 12:24 PM / 20 days ago

Avon names Unilever's Zijderveld as CEO after long search

(Reuters) - U.S. cosmetics maker Avon Products Inc on Monday named Unilever NV executive Jan Zijderveld as its chief executive, days after shareholders piled pressure on the company to find a new CEO quickly.

Zijderveld’s appointment caps a nearly six-month search for a new boss at New York-based Avon after Sheri McCoy said in August she was stepping down.

The shareholders, led by Shah Capital, Barington Capital and NuOrion Partners, said last week they were “extremely disappointed” with Avon’s inability to address falling shareholder value and to hire a new chief executive quickly.

They also asked the company to explore options including selling itself.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for the group said the shareholders welcomed Zijderveld’s appointment but reiterated the need for more change at Avon.

Avon’s shares shed nearly 60 percent in 2017. The stock has fallen almost 90 percent since McCoy took over as CEO in 2012.

Her departure came amid pressure from Barington Capital.

Zijderveld, a member of Unilever’s executive committee, most recently served as president of the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant’s European business.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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