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On Top of the World

Lynne Greene has propelled the 43-year-old Clinique into the industry’s leading power position.

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Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 03/11/2011

Her Rise to the Top

Lynne Greene grew up in the small town of Lebanon, Mo. She studied theater and literature at the University of Missouri in Columbia, receiving a bachelor of science in education. Opting against a career as a teacher, Greene took a job as an account executive with Estée Lauder in St. Louis, and moved to New York three years later as director of education. In 1981, she left for a position in Chanel’s marketing department, before going back to Lauder in sales management for six years. Stints as head of sales at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté and Lancôme followed, and in 1997, Greene returned to the Estée Lauder Cos. as vice president of sales at Origins. The following year, she was named president of the brand, and in 2003, became president of the specialty group comprising La Mer, Prescriptives and Jo Malone. Greene was appointed global brand president of Clinique in 2006, and given oversight of Origins and Ojon two years later.

Lynne Greene’s Bold Strategy: 5 Key Points


Respect the Past, Reinvent the Future: To develop a successful strategy for a brand going forward, you must first know where it’s been.
Find the White Space: One antiaging product after another only cannibalizes the last one. Create products with a unique positioning.
Connect the Dots: Crunch the numbers, create the vision, forge an emotional connection with your consumer.
Clock Serious Screen Time: Television, computers, mobile phones. Develop a cross-platform omnipresence.
Talk the Talk: Whether you sit in the corner office or an assistant’s cubicle, say what you mean—and mean what you say.

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