Avon was founded in 1886 as the California Perfume Company by a book salesman named Mr. David McConnell. He got the idea of opening this company when he discovered that the rose oil perfumes he was giving away with the books were the primary reason people were buying his books not the book it self. In 1914 the first international office opened in Montreal, Canada and in 1916 California Perfume Company first incorporated in New York State and by 1964 Avon stocks have been listed on New York Stock Exchange.
The company changed its name to Avon products, Inc., in 1939 by the new president of the company the son of the founder after the river that runs through Stratford-On-Avon in the English Midlands. The name is a tribute to McConnell's favorite playwright, William Shakespeare, who hailed from the town. From only $500 revenues a day, which was recorded for the first time in December 1897, in 1920 the company's revenues reached $1 million a year and by 1972 it reached $1 billion for the first time. In 2004 the total revenue of Avon was $7.7 billions!! In 1999Avon names its first-ever female CEO with the appointment of Andrea Jung in November and in 2001Avon's Board of Directors elected her as the company's first female Chairman of the Board. She is one of five female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies, and is one of three holding the titles of chairman and chief executive.
Facts about Avon:
Avon is the world's leading direct seller of beauty and related products. It markets to women around the world through 4.9 million independent sales representatives a number that has grown 11% from 2003.
In addition to be the leading direct seller, it is the sixth largest global beauty company in term of size with total assets equals to $4.2 billions in 2004.
Moreover Avon is expanding in the global market rapidly and it has business operations in 60 markets conducting over 1 billion customer transactions every year.