New Avon LLC is bringing in Helene Rutledge to serve as Chief Innovation Officer, a newly created role that will oversee new product development at the beauty company.
The latest addition to Avon’s leadership team hails from health supplement maker Nature’s Bounty Inc., where Rutledge served as Vice President of Research and Development, leading product and partner development across the company’s diverse brands. She also runs her own New York City-based consultancy, Caliper Innovation, a full-service firm offering product and innovation solutions.
Rutledge’s previous roles include Head of Global Open Innovation at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, and Senior Vice President of Technology at AeroDesigns, where her accomplishments included a collaboration with David Edwards, inventor of inhaled insulin. In an earlier role with Warner-Lambert, she led the development of Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips, an innovation award-winning product.
“Helene brings nearly three decades of operational and innovation experience to New Avon,” said Scott White, CEO. “She has strong experience running product innovation for world-class consumer and pharmaceutical companies—expertise which will be invaluable to our product innovation efforts at New Avon.”
Rutledge is no stranger to the 130-year-old beauty brand. Earlier in her career, she led process development for Fragrance, Children’s and Bath products at Avon Products Inc., which spun off its North America business—now the privately held New Avon—in a December deal with Cerberus Capital Management. New Avon management said, going forward, the two companies will continue to collaborate on research and development.
“I am thrilled to be joining New Avon at this pivotal time in the company’s growth journey,” Rutledge said in a statement. “I have always admired Avon as an iconic, purpose-driven brand, empowering women to run their own businesses selling innovative beauty products.”