May 11, 2020
Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus and former CEO of the Estée Lauder Companies has penned his memoirs chronicling the business and life lessons he learned as he helped take a small family-run firm to the global beauty giant it is today.
In The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty, Mr. Lauder outlines the role he played in transforming the mom-and-pop business that his mother founded in 1946 in the family kitchen into a company with multiple brands including Estée Lauder, La Mer, Bobbie Brown, Clinique and Origins, among others.
Not made up
In its infancy in the 1940s and ‘50s, the New York-based company comprised a handful of products, sold under a single brand in just a few prestigious department stores across the United States.
Currently, Estée Lauder Cos. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of prestige skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. Its portfolio includes more than 25 brands, whose products are sold in over 150 countries and territories.
Mr. Lauder, Estée Lauder’s oldest son, led this growth over a 60-year tenure, including stints as company CEO and chairman. He is now also designated as chief teaching officer.
In this personal account replete with anecdotes, 87-year-old Mr. Lauder reflects on his childhood, growing up during the Great Depression, the vibrant decades of the post-World War II boom, and his work growing the company.
Mr. Lauder pays tribute to his mother and eponymous company founder, Estée Lauder, and to the employees both past and present. He shares inside stories about the company, including tales of cutthroat rivalry with Charles Revson of Revlon and others.
The book offers insights on honing ambition, leveraging success, learning from mistakes, and growing an international company in an age of economic turbulence, uncertainty and fierce competition.
Harper Business is publishing the book, due out Nov. 17. Priced at $32.50, all author proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to charity.