Estée Lauder makes key exec appointment focusing on China market

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Board of directors China

The Esée Lauder Companies has appointed Wei Sun Christianson to its board of directors, a move aimed at tapping into key knowledge of the fast expanding China market.

Christianson has experience of working within the corporate sector of the China market, which forms a key strategic focus for the company’s future expansion plans.

Currently Christianson is managing director and chief executive office for the China market at investment bankers Morgan Stanley and is based in Beijing.

Experience in China

Her responsibilities at the financial services company have included the oversight and global co-ordination of all business activities throughout China and she was also a member of its management committee.

She has also held key executives positions, as the Chairman of China for Citigroup Global Market and headed up China operations for Credit Suisse First Boston, and previously held another position with Morgan Stanley, representing interests in Beijing.

“Her extensive financial expertise, strong business acumen and understanding of China will be invaluable in our Board and management team as we continue to grow in China and other key emerging markets,​” said William Lauder, Estée Lauder executive chairman.

Rapid expansion in China

Estee Lauder has been fast expanding into the China market in recent years, feeding off huge demand for luxury western cosmetics and fragrance brands.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences claims that at the end of 2009 the market for uxury consumer goods was valued at $9.4bn, accounting for 27.5 percent of the world’s luxury goods market.

This is predicted to grow to $14.6bn by 2015, and according to Datamonitor analyst Priscilla Siew, luxury cosmetics, and to a lesser extent fragrances, are perfect purchases for the Chinese consumer wishing to enter into the luxury space.

A recent report from Bernstein Research claimed that over the next few years prestige brands such as Estee Lauder as well as high-end mass brands such as P&G will be more successful than the lower-end brands of a company like Avon.

Currently, prestige beauty products represent approximately 24 per cent of the total beauty market in China, up from 10 per cent in the mid 90’s, and Bernstein Research predicts that such products will represent over 27 percent of the market by 2014.

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