by Hannah Williams

Nick Burton leaves Belron and joins Avon as VP of Digital Development

Jan 30, 2019

Credit: IDG

Belron Chief Digital and Information Officer Nick Burton started a new role as Vice President for Digital Development at Avon on Monday 28 January 2019, responsible for managing the direct selling retailer’s digital transformation.

Avon, which was founded in 1886, is a global beauty and personal care door-to-door household sales firm, and is the fifth-largest beauty company worldwide.

With over 20 years of experience in IT and transformation roles, Burton previously managed the IT and digital function at Belron, where he was responsible for leading the IT strategy and transforming the business to a digital customer service delivery model.

“It’s terrific to be joining such an iconic brand at such an exciting moment in the company’s transformation,” Burton said. “The power of the Avon model is tremendous: six million Avon representatives and their customers – that’s six million micro-influencers and online beauty entrepreneurs.”

Burton and his teams have been recognised in recent editions of the CIO 100, and spoke to the CIO UK podcast in November 2018 where he discussed emerging tech and the current trends in the market.

“I think culture and the way you approach change in culture is a key fundamental for getting digitisation right, so hearing about the importance of culture and the changing roles in things like product management and so on, actually adds something extra to the often more ‘techie’ focus,” Burton told CIO UK at the Gartner Symposium last year.

“I mean, the whole AI space is super hot and everyone’s talking about AI in some way but actually, one of the things that’s really become mainstream for us [Belron] now is conversational AI through voice channels, so Alexa over the phone, and it’s now good enough that you can genuinely start to allow customers to self-serve and automate some of these more mundane, regular interactions that customers have.”

Burton will report to Avon’s Chief Digital & Information Technology Officer Benedetto Conversano.

“I’m delighted that Nick is joining the team,” said Conversano. “He’s a strong strategic leader and will support Avon’s growth by building on our existing talent and infrastructure and taking our digital sales proposition into the future.

“This is a tremendous opportunity as we revolutionise Avon’s service model and unleash the power of our representatives through digital.”

Avon CEO welcomed Burton to the organisation on LinkedIn, posting that it was a “really important appointment as we modernise the brand and support our beauty entrepreneurs to grow their businesses”.

Burton was a keynote speaker at the 2015 and 2016 editions of the CIO Summit.