Avon Chief Executive to Resign in Latest Win for Activist Investors

“Leading Avon for the past five years alongside Avon’s dedicated management, associates and representatives has been an honor, and I am proud of what we have achieved together,” Ms. McCoy said in a news release. “We’ve made great progress in strengthening the Avon brand through new positioning, increased investment in social media, and innovative, high-quality products.”

A new chief executive would be the latest change for Avon Products, which has sought to reshape its management in recent months.

The company named Jonathan Myers, a former executive at Kellogg Company and Procter & Gamble, as its new chief operating officer in June, and added Miguel Fernandez, a Herbalife executive, as its new global president for its commercial business operations. Avon Products also has hired a new general counsel and chief financial officer since the beginning of the year.

The management change reflects the pressure that Avon has faced in recent years to improve its results as the 130-year-old brand has fallen from it prior heights.

The company agreed in 2015 to spin off its North American business into a privately held company that was majority-owned by an affiliate of the private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

It announced a three-year strategic plan to focus on its remaining operations outside the United States and reduce costs. That included shifting its headquarters from New York to London.

The new focus came nearly four years after Avon Products rebuffed a $10.7 billion unsolicited takeover by the beauty products maker Coty, which owns the Clairol, CoverGirl and Rimmel London brands.

The announcement was the latest sign of the increasing heft of activist investors.

General Electric announced in June that Jeffrey R. Immelt, its longtime chief executive, would retire this year. The industrial giant said at the time that its succession planning had been underway for five years, but it had faced pressure in recent years from Nelson Peltz, the billionaire investor, to cut costs and improve its returns.

Mr. Peltz and his investment firm, Trian Partners, have recently turned their focus to the consumer products giant Procter & Gamble, which has previously faced pressure from another billionaire investor, William A. Ackman.

The upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market also agreed to sell itself to Amazon in June for $13.4 billion as it faced pressure from…

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