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Shearer could not be reached for comment and neither could William P. Lauder, president and chief executive officer, who issued a statement.
"Philip has done a wonderful job over the past six years, initially leading our international business and more recently heading up the Clinique, Origins, Aveda, Bumble and bumble and Ojon brands, as well as our online business," the statement said. "Additionally, he has been a strong contributor to our company's leadership."
Shearer's departure, effective immediately, follows a seismic shift in Lauder's top management, in which the company unexpectedly unveiled a succession plan.
On Nov. 8, William Lauder, 46, said Fabrizio Freda, the 50-year-old president of the Global Snacks division of Procter & Gamble Co., will join Lauder on March 3 as president and chief operating officer. If all goes according to plan, Freda is expected to be named ceo, succeeding Lauder, within 24 months. The next day, on Nov. 9, William's father, Leonard A. Lauder, closed the firm's annual stockholders' meeting by announcing that he plans to step down as chairman in two years to make way for his son.
Leonard Lauder, who will be 76 in 2009, told the shareholders: "I certainly hope that William can succeed me as chairman."
Lauder, who has held the chairmanship for 12 years, shaped the family firm into a global prestige market leader during his 51-year career, as well as being one of the chief architects of the modern cosmetics business.
As part of the reorganization, Freda is slated to oversee Clinique as part of his duties. That division had been the responsibility of Shearer who, in turn, was given responsibility for strategic planning.
Shearer's direct reports will now be handled by William Lauder on an interim basis until Freda arrives in March.
In 2001, Shearer had been recruited by Lauder from L'Oréal USA, where he was president of the Luxury Products Division.