Avon Says Fred Hassan Resigns from Board

Avon Products Inc said on Friday that longtime board member Fred Hassan resigned from its board to focus on his other professional commitments and that Doug Conant was taking over the role of nonexecutive chairman.

The world's largest direct seller of cosmetics also said its chief financial officer would fill a spot on the board until it can find another independent director.

Avon has started to show signs of stabilizing its business under Chief Executive Officer Sheri McCoy, who was brought in a year ago after the company posted years of disappointing results both in the United States and abroad. Earlier this month, Avon announced plans to cut more than 400 jobs and leave the market of Ireland.

Hassan, who joined Avon's board in 1999, is nonexecutive chairman of Bausch + Lomb, a managing director and partner at private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC and a board member of Time Warner Inc.

Hassan, a well-regarded turnaround expert and dealmaker, said in a statement provided by Avon that his "other professional commitments have intensified, requiring more focus."

Hassan had only been Avon's nonexecutive chairman since the beginning of the year, taking on the role when former CEO Andrea Jung left her role as executive chairman of the board more than a year earlier than planned.

Conant, the former CEO of Campbell Soup Co, joined Avon's board in April 2012.

CFO Kimberly Ross will join Avon's board on May 2 to maintain the minimum number of directors required, the company said. Ross will step down from the board once the company finds a new independent director.

Avon requires that its board have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 directors and that a majority of the members be independent.