POWER PLAY: The grandson of company founder Estee Lauder, Mr. Lauder was promoted to president-CEO from chief operating officer last July and is boldly mining the beauty products behemoth for growth outside of its largest brands. Mr. Lauder, 44, recently cited the company's nascent haircare division as a major growth driver, building among others its professional salon brands Aveda and Bumble & Bumble through tactics including a major push during New York's Fashion Week that it will tout to hairdressers and consumers. Mr. Lauder has already driven a relaunch of the Origins brand he spearheaded as president in 1990. An ongoing agency review is widely expected to maintain the company's relationship with J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, and to use the agency beyond just media placement for creative assistance on its most advertised brands-Estee Lauder and Clinique-among others.
DOWNSIDE: The cluttered fragrance category continues to be a challenge for Estee Lauder, despite the company holding five of the top 10 fragrances. Mr. Lauder recently signed deals with Donald Trump and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs for men's fragrances for fall 2005. In addition, Mr. Lauder faces trouble expanding his company's brands beyond its traditional prestige channels. Earlier this year, Lauder sold the mass teen brand Jane that it had purchased in 1997. Recently, Lauder's BeautyBank unveiled at Bergdorf Goodman the new Flirt cosmetics line intended exclusively for midlevel department store Kohl's. Mr. Lauder explained the event was to establish an aspirational image for Flirt.