I have my dream job, said Fabrizio Freda, looking at Central Park from the windows of his office at the top of the General Motors Building, between 59th and Fifth streets in New York. In 2021 the Neapolitan manager, CEO of Este Lauder for 14 years, was the second highest paid CEO in America, with a salary of 66 million dollars. That year on Wall Street, where the group landed in 1995, the stock was worth over 300 dollars from a price below 20 dollars in July 2009, when Freda arrived.
But today his position is wavering. Este Lauder, founded 77 years ago in New York and which the Italian manager helped transform into a beauty empire, is now in difficulty. Over the last year the stock has fallen by 43.45% to 123.8 dollars.
The fall wiped out around 45 billion in capitalisation and impoverished by 15 billion the shareholder family that controls approximately 35%. The descendants of the founder Este are reportedly divided over the future of the company, which was unable to completely overcome the Covid crisis. The recovery from the pandemic has been prolonged and complex, Freda admitted Friday during the shareholders meeting, held livestreamed and lasting just 34 minutes. Revenues for the first quarter, ended at the end of September, were down 10% (to 3.5 billion) andThe group cut its earnings estimates for fiscal 2024, due to the slowdown in the beauty sector in the luxury segment in China and the rest of Asia. Correction paid with a 13% drop in the stock market in a single day.
According to Wall Street Journalthe 15-member board, which includes outgoing honorary chairman Leonard Lauder (90) and brother Ronald (79), Este’s sons, and their children Gary, William (executive chairman) and Jane (data director) officially supports Freda. But Leonard and others are said to be dissatisfied with his relaunch plan and are looking for a new CEO (Jane would also be in the running, who is 50 years old and in the past led Origines and Clinique, two of the group’s brands), while William would focus on the Italian manager.
Corriere della Sera also on Whatsapp. It’s enough click here to subscribe to the channel and always be updated.