In his much-anticipated memoir, The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty, Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies Leonard A. Lauder shares the business and life lessons he learned as well as the adventures he had while helping transform the mom-and-pop business his mother founded in 1946 in the family kitchen into the beloved brand and ultimately into the iconic global prestige beauty company it is today.
In its infancy in the 1940s and 50s, the company comprised a handful of products, sold under a single brand in just a few prestigious department stores across the United States. Today, The Estée Lauder Companies constitutes one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of prestige skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. It comprises more than 25 brands, whose products are sold in over 150 countries and territories. This growth and success was led by Leonard A. Lauder, Estée Lauder’s oldest son, who envisioned and effected this expansion during a remarkable 60-year tenure, including leading the company as CEO and Chairman.
In this captivating personal account complete with great stories as only he can tell them, Mr. Lauder, now known as The Estée Lauder Companies’ “Chief Teaching Officer,” reflects on his childhood, growing up during the Great Depression, the vibrant decades of the post-World War II boom, and his work growing the company into the beauty powerhouse it is today. Mr. Lauder pays loving tribute to his mother Estée Lauder, its eponymous founder, and to the employees of the company, both past and present, while sharing inside stories about the company, including tales of cutthroat rivalry with Charles Revson of Revlon and others. The book offers keen insights on honing ambition, leveraging success, learning from mistakes, and growing an international company in an age of economic turbulence, uncertainty, and fierce competition.
Leonard A. Lauder was born in New York City in 1933, where he grew up and helped his mother as she founded what would become The Estée Lauder Companies out of the family’s kitchen in 1946.
After serving in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Lauder officially joined The Estée Lauder Companies in 1958 and focused on building the company’s research and development laboratory and helping to grow the business.
Mr. Lauder is Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., where he currently serves as the senior member of the Board of Directors. In his over five decades of leadership, he transformed the company from a brand with eight products in one country, to a multi-brand, beloved global icon.