Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Leonard Lauder is Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Founded in 1946 by his parents, Estée and Joseph Lauder, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, with annual sales of over $5 billion. Its products are sold in more than 130 markets under 18 well-recognized brand names.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Mr. Lauder also studied at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He formally joined Estée Lauder in 1958, when it had annual sales of $800,000. Mr. Lauder consistently developed and implemented innovative sales and marketing programs, and increased the company's sales and profits. He created its first research and development laboratory, and brought in professional management on every level. He also initiated The Estée Lauder Companies' international expansion, which began in 1960 with the opening of the Estée Lauder account at Harrods in London.
Mr. Lauder served as President of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. from 1972 to 1995 and as Chief Executive Officer from 1982 to 1999. He added the title of Chairman in 1995. Under his leadership, the company launched many new brands, including Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives and Origins, and also expanded through acquisition. Beginning in the mid-1990s, its purchases included trendy independent brands such as M•A•C, Bobbi Brown, Aveda and Stila.
In addition to his activities with The Estée Lauder Companies, Mr. Lauder is extremely active in the worlds of education, art, politics and philanthropy. He is a charter trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies there, which he and his brother, Ronald S. Lauder, established in 1983. Mr. Lauder became a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 1977 and currently serves as its Chairman of the Board. His other commitments include serving as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a trustee of The Aspen Institute and as a member of the President's Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. Mr. Lauder served on the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations to President Reagan. In 1986, he was presented the National Order of Merit by the French Government, and he was named an Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters in 1994. In 2002, Mr. Lauder was named an Officier de la Légion d'Honneur by France and was recognized by The United States Navy Supply Corps Foundation with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
Mr. Lauder is married to the former Evelyn Hausner, who is now Senior Corporate Vice President of The Estée Lauder Companies and Founder and Chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The Lauders have two sons, William, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Estée Lauder Companies, and Gary, Managing Director, Lauder Partners LLC, and four grandchildren.