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10 Things You Didn't Know about Avon CEO Andrea Jung

CEO Andrea Jung

Andrea Jung is a Canadian-American businesswoman. Generally speaking, people will be familiar with her name because of her involvement with Avon Products. However, Jung has been involved with other projects as well, with an excellent example being how she is now the CEO of Grameen America.

1. Born in Toronto, ON

Jung was born in Toronto, which is one of the most notable cities in the Canadian province of Ontario as well as the rest of Canada. In fact, it should be mentioned that Toronto is a leading center for immigrants coming to Canada, not least because there are immigrant communities plus various forms of social infrastructure to make what tends to be a jarring transition that much easier for them.

2. Raised in Wellesley, MA

Having said that, Jung was raised in a town called Wellesley that can be found in the state of Massachusetts. Said town is famous for being one of the wealthiest as well as one of the most well-educated places that can be found in Greater Boston and beyond. Besides that, it tends to be known because of it being home to Wellesley College as well.

3. Can Speak Fluent Mandarin

Jung's parents were born in Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, the fact that she took Mandarin classes on Saturday mornings is what ensured that she would be able to speak fluent Mandarin in the present time. This is useful because Mandarin serves as the lingua franca for not just China but also much of the Chinese Diaspora, which is important because a lot of Chinese dialects aren't very comprehensible to one another.

4. Went to Princeton University

Education-wise, Jung went to Princeton University, which started out as a school meant to train Presbyterian ministers. However, it wasn't too long before the school shifted its focus to producing secular leaders instead. Something that has continued to the present time. For proof, look no further than the fact that Princeton University can claim two U.S. presidents, twelve U.S. Supreme Court Justices, plus a host of other leaders in the business, political, and scientific spheres.

5. Her Brother Co-Founded IGN

It is interesting to note that Jung's brother is Mark Jung, whose name might be familiar to people with an interest in video games. This is because Mark Jung was one of the co-founders of IGN, which has managed to become one of the most notable names in video game news. Moreover, Mark Jung went on to become its CEO, with the result that he continued to run it for a time even once it has been bought out by NewsCorp.

6. Plays the Piano

Jung learned more than just Mandarin from her childhood classes. For instance, that was when she learned to play classical piano. However, while a lot of people let what they have learned in childhood fall away when they get older, Jung has continued to maintain her musical instrument skills. As a result, she continues to play classical piano for the purpose of personal relaxation even in the present time.

7. Focused On Growth Via Product Launches

One of the ways that Jung used to grow Avon's revenues when she was still its CEO was a focus on new product launches. Essentially, new product launches in fragrances, skincare, and some of the other fields that Avon is involved in can provide new revenue streams without encroaching too much on existing revenue streams, not least because those products can be so differentiated from one another.

8. Focused On Growth Via Emerging Markets

Besides that, Jung focused on emerging markets for growth as well, which makes sense because the people living in those parts of the world are just as interested in personal care products as anyone else so long as they have the income to spare for such purchases. Some examples of the emerging markets that were focused upon included both Brazil, which is classified as a upper middle income country, and China, which has been becoming more and more of an economic powerhouse in recent decades thanks to its economic revival.

9. Believes in the Importance of Personal Passion

One of Jung's core beliefs is the importance of personal passion. Essentially, as she sees it, a person needs to have a personal interest in their chosen career if they want to be able to dedicate their full effort to it. This was one of the factors that convinced Jung to move from being a for-profit executive to being a non-profit executive, though even while she was at Avon, she found satisfaction in seeing how its operations transformed the lives of the numerous women who worked for it.

10. Made a Smooth Transition From For-Profit to Non-Profit

On the whole, Jung managed to make a smooth transition from being a for-profit executive to being a non-profit executive. Yes, her focus has changed from increasing profits for her corporation to making sure that Grameen America gets the most value out of the resources that have been poured into it. However, most of the business skills are very much transferrable from one role to the other. With that said, Jung did comment that non-profits should be less negative towards the concept of overhead, which refers to the expenses that non-profits need to continue operating. Essentially, the negative opinion of overhead means that non-profits with higher overhead have a harder time getting donations, which is a huge issue when that higher overhead is necessary for boosting the efficacy as well as the efficiency of their operations. After all, if organizations want to be able to make improvements to how it is run, it must be prepared to spend money for that particular cause.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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