Estee Lauder Shares Rise; CEO to Step Down

Estee Lauder Chief Executive William Lauder Friday appointed former Procter & Gamble executive Fabrizio Freda as president and chief operating officer, and said Freda could succeed him as CEO within two years.

Ahead of the market's open, Estee Lauder shares were trading sharply higher.

Until recently, Freda headed P&G's global snacks division, Lauder said in a letter addressed to his colleagues.

"This is an important step for our company," Lauder said. "With Fabrizio's appointment and our strong leadership team, I believe we can achieve our ambitious growth goals and address the challenges facing our company."

The New York-based beauty company is scheduled to hold its annual shareholder meeting Friday.

Estee Lauder also announced that Chief Operating Officer Dan Brestle will be named to the newly created position of Vice Chairman and President, ELC North America.