Leonard Lauder steps down from Estée Lauder’s board

By Julia Wray | Published: 25-Aug-2023

The ELC heir’s son, Gary Lauder, will also join his brother William on the board from November

Leonard Lauder has announced he will be stepping down from the Estée Lauder Companies’ board of directors before the end of the year. 

However, the 90-year-old heir to the ELC fortune will remain as Chairman Emeritus of the Clinique, Origins and MAC owner.

William Lauder, Leonard’s son, who serves as Executive Chairman, will also be joined by his brother Gary Lauder on the board after the company’s annual general meeting in November. 

Gary is currently Managing Director of Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Lauder Partners.

“It has been an honour 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 continue to believe in the success of our company through the skillful and thoughtful management by William, Fabrizio [Freda, CEO] and the entire leadership team.”

He added: “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.”

Leonard Lauder formally joined ELC in 1958, serving as President from 1972 to 1995 and as CEO from 1982 to 1999. 

He acted as the board’s Chairman from 1995 to 2009, following which he was appointed Chairman Emeritus.

The Lauder family owns around 38% of ELC with approximately 86% of the voting power.

Leonard Lauder’s decision to take a back seat follows a disappointing financial 2023 for the company. 

Earlier this month, ELC reported a net sales decrease of 10% to US$15.91bn for the period ended 30 June 2023, which the beauty giant put down to reduced travel retail sales in Hainan and Korea.

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