Avon Nabs CEO from J&J (AVP, JNJ)

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The board of directors of Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) have named Sherilyn McCoy as the company’s new CEO. McCoy has spent virtually her entire professional career with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), where she was most recently vice-chairman of J&J’s Pharmaceutical, Consumer, Corporate Office of Science & Technology, and Information Technology divisions, responsible for more than 60% of J&J’s revenues.

Andrea Jung, the Avon CEO who stepped down in December, remains as executive chairman of the company’s board, and McCoy, who will get a board seat, will report to the board, not Jung.

Just last week Avon rejected a $10 billion buyout bid from Coty Inc. and today’s appointment of McCoy is likely to make Coty forget about any sweetened deal. Avon’s shares closed higher last Thursday than Coty’s offer of $23.25/share, and Coty has already said that it would only raise its offer if the company was allowed to begin its due diligence. McCoy’s hiring slams the door on that possibility.

Avon’s shares are down about -2.7% in the pre-market, at $22.80 in a 52-week range of $16.09-$31.60.

Paul Ausick