Richard W. Kunes to Retire as Chief Financial Officer of the Estée Lauder Companies

NEW YORK, Aug 22, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) announced today that Richard W. Kunes, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), plans to retire effective on or about June 30, 2013. Mr. Kunes intends to continue to serve the Company as CFO until June 30, 2012, or such earlier time as his successor begins to serve as CFO. Thereafter, he will continue his relationship with the Company as Executive Vice President, Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer, and work on special projects through June 30, 2013. The Company will begin to assess internal personnel as well as external candidates for CFO. Mr. Kunes will work closely with his successor as needed to ensure a smooth and orderly transition until his retirement.

Mr. Kunes has had many accomplishments during his twenty five years at The Estée Lauder Companies, including the last twelve as CFO. He has played a major role in enhancing the growth and profitability of the organization as well as substantially improving many other financial metrics. He has been a key partner in building the Company’s successful strategic direction and in ensuring its execution, which has positioned the Company for continued future growth. Under his leadership, the Company has developed a stronger and more disciplined global financial organization that is recognized respectfully throughout the Company and also by his peers and the financial community. His ability to manage through varied economic circumstances has proven to be invaluable to the Company’s strong financial results.

“I admire Rick’s long-standing commitment to The Estée Lauder Companies and on behalf of the Company, I am thankful for his contributions and efforts,” said William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman. “As CFO, Rick has been an important member of our leadership team and has been instrumental in helping our Company reach record financial highs. Through his leadership and expertise, Rick instilled the financial discipline that has helped us achieve our industry leadership position. I am sorry to see Rick leave us, but regrettably I understand his choice to retire and spend more time with his family.”

“Rick has been an integral partner in the Company’s global growth and development,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer. “He has done an excellent job in leading the execution of our long-term strategy through his business knowledge and financial skills and aiding our leadership team in making important decisions to drive our strong results. Rick has been a valued partner to me in the last three years. Together, we have managed through a very difficult period and one which included some of the best performances in the Company’s history. I regret to see him retire, but he has put together an excellent team. I look forward to working with Rick during the transition.”

Mr. Kunes joined the Company in 1986 as International Manufacturing Controller. Since then, he served in increasingly important roles at the Company, including Regional Finance Director for Asia, Vice President Operations Finance Worldwide and Corporate Controller until his appointment to CFO in 2000. As CFO, he is responsible for the finance functions, including Internal and External Reporting, Treasury, Taxation, Risk Management, Operations Finance and Investor Relations. In addition, Mr. Kunes is responsible for the Corporate Strategic Planning and Mergers and Acquisitions department and the Global Information Systems Group, as well as the administrative aspects of the Internal Control Department. He is also Chairman of the Fiduciary Investment Committee.

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under the following brand names: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, M-A-C, Bobbi Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, Kiton, La Mer, Donna Karan, Aveda, Jo Malone, Bumble and bumble, Darphin,Michael Kors, American Beauty, Flirt!, GoodSkin Labs, Grassroots Research Labs, Sean John, Missoni, Daisy Fuentes, Tom Ford, Coach, Ojon, Smashbox and Ermenegildo Zegna.

SOURCE: The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.