When it comes to female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, firsts are an easy thing to come by. There’s no hiding that these women are pioneers. But what’s truly amazing is anytime something remarkable happens for female CEOs not for the first time, but for the second, and third, and fourth. That’s when we, as a gender, can see real progress being made. Just a few days ago, Avon showed that sign of progress by orchestrating a female to female hand-off of the position of Chief Executive Officer.
Two years ago at Xerox, Anne Mulcahy was the first female CEO to ever be succeeded by another female CEO, Ursula Burns. Avon announced that this kind of hand-off will occur as Andrea Jung steps down as CEO and will be replaced by Sheri McCoy from Johnson & Johnson. Powerful in her own right, McCoy was formerly named the 10th most powerful woman on Forbes’ list. Taking over Avon could be the biggest challenge of her career.
Avon has long called it’s “the company for women.” I congratulate them for standing by that slogan and tapping a woman to again stand at the helm of this cosmetics giant.