Avon Appoints First Chief Digital Officer

Avon Products Inc. is on a hiring kick.
The beauty business has appointed Benedetto Conversano senior vice president, chief digital and information technology officer, a newly created role. As chief information officer, Conversano succeeds Sue Liddie, current global vice president and chief information officer — she is retiring. Avon has also brought in Heather Payne as chief technology officer. Before, Payne was cto for Daily Mail Group, the media business.
Conversano joins Avon from Jerónimo Martins, an international food, health and beauty business, where he was chief global information officer. He's also served on Ikea's e-commerce board, helping to steer the furniture business' multichannel strategy. Before that, Conversano was with Procter & Gamble, working to build out automation systems.
At Avon, where he starts Sept. 3, Conversano will work to develop a new digital strategy. He will also work to build, develop and standardize technology delivery across the company globally. As part of that digital plan broadly, Avon is developing a digital board, to be led by Conversano.
"We are thrilled for the opportunity to benefit from Benedetto's proven, strong, strategic, consumer-focused digital, technological and operational skill set, having played a pioneering role in helping some of the world's best-known brands deploy consumer-friendly digital platforms," Avon chief executive officer Jan Zijderveld said in a statement. "Avon is undergoing a period of significant change, and customer-friendly digital interfaces, supported by a much more efficient technology infrastructure and rich data analytics, are a key strategic driver of the organization's future progress."
Zijderveld, who joined Avon from Unilever in February, is the latest ceo to attempt to turn around the business. Digital has been one of his key areas of focus.
"This is an exciting time for Avon, and I am eager to jump in to this newly created role during a turnaround," Conversano said.
The news of the Conversano and Payne hires come shortly after Avon appointed two new marketing executives and new regional general manager. On the marketing front, Avon's hires are meant to target fast beauty.
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