The Estée Lauder family and their legacy, full of responsibility


(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 1 2016)

The beauty brand Estée Lauder has the values of a private company and the financial sophistication of a public company. Their leaders and their employees are driven by passion and new ideas. Today, Estée Lauder’s children and grandchildren are active and involved in the thriving house of beauty that she carefully built over many decades. But for them, it is much more than just a family business, it is a way of life. And that also includes helping other people – for example when it comes to breast cancer.

Evelyn H. Lauder courageously and boldly launched The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign in 1992 with the creation of the Pink Ribbon, the universal symbol for breast health. Devoted to the mission to defeat breast cancer, The BCA Campaign has raised more than 58 million dollars over the past two decades for supporting global research, education and medical services with close to 46 million dollars funding 185 Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) medical research grants worldwide over the past 21 years.

The past BCA Campaign which was supported by the claim “We’re stronger together” celebrated all the things we do, big or small, in the fight against breast cancer and unites and empowers the global community to take action throughout the year. People around the world were invited to join Estée Lauder’s global digital community and share how they are taking action to bring us closer to a world without breast cancer. They had the opportunity to show how they take action in the fight against breast cancer by posting a photo, video or message. All the activities that were submitted via the campaign website between 1 October  and 31 December last year were eligible for inclusion. So this inspiring project beautifully captured the range of activities being carried out globally to end this disease, and are to be an inspiration for everyone around the world to continue to do their part. It was a global mosaic and multimedia project that was unveiled worldwide on the World Cancer Day on February 4th.

William P. Lauder is Executive Chairman of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc. His action leads the companies’ global fight against breast cancer while honouring his mother’s legacy. He says, “This year, The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign focuses on action, which leads to impact, a belief that was so important to my late mother, Evelyn H. Lauder. When my mother first began bravely speaking out about breast cancer more than two decades ago, few people were talking about it openly or publicly. Dedicated to the belief that knowledge is power, she worked hard toward her vision for a world without breast cancer and in the process she became a voice for women, men and families everywhere who had been touched by the disease.

I have the unique privilege of being able to witness the diverse efforts of our colleagues and partners around the globe and championing their visions for The BCA Campaign. Over the last 23 years, the collective actions of our company have helped us raise more than 58 million dollars to fund 185 BCRF research grants and other breast cancer organisations and programmes around the world. This action is having a significant impact in bringing scientists closer to solutions that can lead to a world without the disease. 

As we launch The 2015 BCA Campaign, I find myself reflecting on how my mother’s personal actions – traveling the globe to deliver critical breast health messages, co-creating the Pink Ribbon, or offering her support to countless individuals who had been diagnosed – have shaped, and continue to shape, the breast cancer awareness movement. I see her vision brought to life each time an educational brochure and Pink Ribbon pin are offered at our counters worldwide, a global landmark is illuminated in pink as a powerful message of hope, or a critical research project is funded through the support of The BCA Campaign.

When I see the impact of these actions, I can’t help but think about how proud my mother would be to know that her effort continues to gain momentum and continues to have an important impact on people’s lives each and every day. Together, all of us at The Estée Lauder Companies grow stronger each year. Every action taken in this fight brings us closer to our goal of ending breast cancer”.

William P. Lauder

William P. Lauder is the son of Leonard Lauder and the grandson of Estée Lauder. He became Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Directors in July 2009. He was Chief Executive Officer from July 2004 until June 2009. During his five-year tenure as Chief Executive, he expanded the company’s international presence and distribution channels and greatly strengthened the brand portfolio. He joined the company in 1986 as Regional Marketing Director of Clinique U.S.A. in the New York metro area. In 1990 he led the development of the Origins brand and its innovative store-within-a-store concept. He was subsequently promoted to several senior leadership positions; he led the worldwide businesses for Clinique and Origins and oversaw the company’s free-standing stores and internet business. In 2002 he became Chief Operating Officer, with oversight of all the company’s global operations, as well as nine specialty brands and the retail business.

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Picture credits © Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Estee Lauder Companies


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