William P. Lauder, W'83

2019 Joseph Wharton Leadership Award

William P. Lauder, W'83
Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies​ 

William P. Lauder is a son of Leonard and Evelyn Lauder and a grandson of Estée and Joseph Lauder. Mr. Lauder became Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Directors in July 2009. He was Chief Executive Officer from July 2004 through 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 creation of the Origins brand and its innovative store-within-a store concept. He subsequently was 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 2003 he became Chief Operating Officer, with oversight of all the company’s global operations, as well as nine specialty brands and the retail business.

Under his leadership, Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion became the best-selling prestige skin care product in U.S. department stores and Clinique launched its first anti-aging product.

Prior to joining the company, Mr. Lauder completed Macy’s Executive Training Program in New York City and was Associate Merchandising Manager of the New York Division/Dallas store when it opened in 1985.

He is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and an Emeritus Trustee on the Trinity School Board in New York City, his alma maters. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Fresh Air Fund, a member of the Boards of Directors of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the 92nd Street Y, the Partnership for New York City and the Advisory Board of Zelnick Media. In 2012, Mr. Lauder received a lecturer appointment to the faculty of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches “Decision Making in the Leadership Chair,” a course he designed for second-year MBA students.