Leonard Lauder was born in 1933. He was the first child of Joseph and Estée Lauder and is the maker of many products you can read about on our site. He is the co-founder of a global beauty empire that comprises 30 brands. Leonard Lauder served as a lieutenant in the US Navy and later graduated from Columbia University with a business degree. He joined the family business when he was 25 years old.
Lauder drove the international expansion. He added MAC, Clinique and Jo Malone to the skin care portfolio. Now Estée Lauder is worth $11 billion and its products are sold world wide. You can find them in over 150 countries. Lauder is famous for creating the “Lipstick Index”, which I wrote about in this article at Seeking Alpha a few years ago.
Leonard Lauder Coined the “Lipstick Index”
Essentially, the sales of lipstick are inversely correlated to the health of the economy. Lauder is a key player in the 21st century beauty industry and has a love of the arts, medicine and education. He is a noted for his generous philanthropy.
Lauder attributes much of his success in business to teachings from his mother – the namesake of the company. She understood people perfectly and was noted for her brilliant intuition. Additionally he learned a lot from his time in the US Navy. Particularly how to deal with people from different levels of intelligence and education. Lauder has a PhD in dealing with people.
The hardest challenge Lauder ever faced was taking Estée Lauder public in 1995. All the books were suddenly under a microscope. But Lauder believed in doing things right and from his tiny shared 100 square foot office to the epic compound of today the same principles have always applied. Do it over until things are done right and you will have the best products in the world. I think they do it right.