Leonard Lauder Plans to Step Down from Estée Lauder Board
The Estée Lauder Companies has announced that Chairman Emeritus Leonard A. Lauder has informed the Company of his decision not to stand for re-election to the Company’s Board of Directors at the annual meeting in November 2023. He will remain Chairman Emeritus of the Company. Pursuant to the stockholders’ agreement among Lauder family members and the Company, Leonard Lauder has the right to designate two directors of the Company. In addition to his son William P. Lauder, who serves as Executive Chairman, Leonard Lauder has designated his son Gary M. Lauder to serve on the Board. The Board has nominated Gary Lauder and will include his name among the nominees for election at the Company’s annual meeting in November. Gary Lauder is the Managing Director of Lauder Partners LLC, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. He has been a venture capitalist since 1985, investing in over 150 private companies. Gary serves on the Board of Governors of Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania; a BS in Economics from the Wharton School; and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Gary has periodically attended the Company’s Board meetings over the years as an invited observer, which has provided him with a long-term view of the Company.
Leonard Lauder formally joined The Estée Lauder Companies in 1958 and served as President from 1972 to 1995 and as Chief Executive Officer from 1982 to 1999. He became Chairman of the Board in 1995 and served in that role through June 2009, until he was appointed Chairman Emeritus for the Company. As Chairman Emeritus, Leonard Lauder provides his advice and counsel on a variety of business topics including brand building, marketing, and understanding the global luxury consumer. He continues to play an active role as “Chief Teaching Officer,” educating leaders throughout the Company with his brand symposiums and through speaking engagements with global employees.
“My father envisioned and helped drive the growth and expansion of our Company from an iconic single brand to the global, brand-building powerhouse it is today. We’ve never wavered from his vision of being a home for the best brands and best people, all of whom are united in delivering high-quality, prestige beauty products and high-touch service and experiences, while maintaining our unique, values-driven culture,” said William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman. “It has been an incredible honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from my father over the years. I look forward to continuing to learn from him and know his passion for this industry, this Company, our employees and our consumers is as strong as ever.”
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve on the Board of the Company my mother and father created over 75 years ago,” said Leonard Lauder. “This Board is one of the best in the business. I feel confident that the Company’s leadership and Board will continue to guide our strategy to deliver long-term growth. Additionally, I continue to believe in the success of our Company through the skillful and thoughtful management by William, Fabrizio, and the entire leadership team. The nomination of Gary to the Board further reflects my family’s long-term stewardship, and our support of the vision, values, and people who will drive the Company’s future success. As Chairman Emeritus of the Company, I’m looking forward to continuing my work as advisor and “Chief Teaching Officer,” serving what I believe to be the best Company in the world.”
“On behalf of the Board, I share my deep admiration and appreciation to Leonard for his invaluable contributions to the Company as an officer and as a member of the Board. He is a visionary whose creative thinking is unmatched in the industry. His innovative insights will continue to serve as inspiration for us all,” said Charlene Barshefsky, the Company’s Presiding Director.
In addition to his activities with The Estée Lauder Companies, Leonard Lauder is extremely involved in the worlds of education, art, politics, and philanthropy. He is a Charter Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and a founding member of the Board of Governors of its Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies. Leonard Lauder became a Trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 1977 and currently serves as its Chairman Emeritus. He is Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation; Honorary Chairman of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a Trustee of the Aspen Institute; and a member of the President’s Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. Leonard Lauder also served on the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations under President Ronald Reagan. Among his honors, he has been named an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by France and recognized by the U.S. Navy Supply Corps Foundation with its Distinguished Alumni Award, was the 2013 recipient of the Palazzo Strozzi Renaissance Man of the Year Award, and was named a 2014 Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.