In an attempt to onboard more sales representatives and rebuild its growth, Avon Products Inc. is looking to its newly minted chief digital officer and chief information technology officer Benedetto Conversano to standardize the makeup company's IT, according to The Wall Street Journal. Benedetto is replacing Sue Liddie, VP and CIO, who is retiring next month. Heather Payne is taking on the role of CTO, according to a company announcement last
Part of Benedetto's responsibilities include the creation of a "digital board" expected to help align and incorporate digital technologies into Avon's overall business strategy, according to the report.
Avon is banking on improvements to consumer-focussed digital interfaces, its technical infrastructure and analytics to help ensure advancements, according to the Journal. The company's move to restructure its technical leadership comes after its 2016 deal with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to effectively rebuild its IT infrastructure.
The makeup industry joins practically every other industry looking to makeover its IT with modernization.
Last year Estee Lauder appointed a new CIO to focus on analytics applications. Around the same time, L'Oreal took on Michael Kingston as its CIO. He served as CIO for Neiman Marcus, Coach and Louis Vuitton.
It is common for CIOs to maintain the industry in which they oversee IT in across companies because many of the needs are similar. Retailers like makeup companies are reliant on customer-focussed strategies but Avon is particularly dependent on its sales representatives.
Avon's sales reps need to be equipped with digital and mobile tools "to make running [their] business easier," said Avon's CEO Jan Zijderveld, during the company's Q2 2018 earnings report earlier this month.
The reach of sales reps needs to be expanded to accommodate consumers across digital platforms "anywhere, anytime," he said. Zijderveld wants to improve the company's ability to perform "high-touch, high-tech, high-impact" in selling products directly to customers.