Any good Leader who puts himself in Sheri McCoy’s shoes would do the same – Quit. Last February when McCoy was bypassed to head Johnson & Johnson for Alex Gorsky – she resigned from the company she worked for 30 years.
Yet almost immediately after she quit Johnson & Johnson, she was taken in by Avon to lead its organization. So, what kind of person and leader is McCoy to be trusted and hired by a struggling Avon?
As Emily Glazer noted Sheri McCoy is a quick learner and talented leader. Well, indeed she is talented for being able to hold five patents on her ideas – this ability should help Avon in its product development somehow. On the other hand, being a quick learner would always be an advantage to any organization or undertaking.
But would these be enough? If she was still a chemical engineer, specially would. See, being regarded as one of the most powerful women, or men for that matter, has a lot to do with circumstances – so, there’s really nothing to rejoice about it but the honor itself.
As CEO, McCoy has to deal with Avon’s poor numbers, allegations of bribery overseas, and Coty’s desire to buy the company.
POOR PERFORMANCE. When McCoy was hired back in April, Avon was number 30 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, but just recently it slipped to number 37. This means McCoy needs help and recognized this fact; and so hired Patricia Perez-Ayala as Avon’s SVP, CMO, and Global Brand and Category President. In this aspect, she did the right thing; but whether Perez-Ayala would be able to lift Avon is a different story. For one, you got to know how to inspire your army.
BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS. What would you do if your company was in this mud? Investigate? Expected. Finger-point then punish? Incompetent. Then what? Of course you try to solve this; but then, this could happen again behind your back, so the steps to be taken should be deeper. If it were a vehicle, you got to inspect not only the tires or engine but the connections, the screws, the alignment, the brakes, everything. This means, you thoroughly check the company’s way of doing things – fix the system. Make strategic changes or the firm’s reputation would suffer.
COTY’S BID. Are they still interested? The latest is that Coty partnered with Katy Perry. Nevertheless, whether it’s Coty or Warren Buffet or whoever, if they desire for Avon – they see a long-term gain in acquiring the company. This is something you should understand if you are Avon’s CEO.
As the Leader, more than just rejecting any suitor’s offer, you counter this mainly by showing stability and direction in your Leadership.
Is Sheri McCoy up to the task?
What’s your take?