Cosmetics giant Avon appoints new GC

International cosmetics company Avon has appointed Jeff Benjamin as its new general counsel and senior vice president following the July departure of former general counsel Kim Rucker to Kraft Foods.

Jeff Benjamin
Jeff Benjamin

Benjamin’s appointment became effective on 12 September. He will report to Avon’s chief executive officer Sheri McCoy and join the company’s executive committee.

Most recently, Benjamin served as the chair of ethics and compliance committee in pharmaceutical company Novartis, where he spent almost 30 years in a variety of general counsel positions until his retirement in late 2011. He began his formal legal career as a litigation associate with Kronish, Lieb, Shainswit, Weiner & Hellman in the 1970s.

The changes at the general counsel post come amid the ongoing investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice into Avon over possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Avon’s previous general counsel Kim Rucker left the company in July 2012 to join Kraft Foods North America as executive vice president, corporate and legal affairs. She succeeds Marc Firestone, who left Kraft Foods to take a same role in international cigarett and tobacco company philip Morris in February (21 February 2012). Rucker will become general counsel and corporate secretary for Kraft Foods Group when the company is spun off later this year.