Wharton School’s Baker Retailing Center and the Retail Leaders Circle to Honor Leonard A. Lauder With Retail Excellence Award

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Retail Leaders Circle today announced that Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of The Estée Lauder Companies, will receive the Retail Excellence Award for his outstanding contributions to the retail and beauty sectors, along with his philanthropic endeavors in academia, medicine and art. Lauder will be honored at an exclusive dinner event on Monday, October 16, 2023, at the Rainbow Room in New York City.

“Leonard Lauder’s remarkable influence and achievements in the industry are matched only by his generosity as a philanthropist,” said Thomas S. Robertson, Joshua J. Harris Professor and Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “His business acumen, global vision, and innovative ideas are legendary to us all.

Leonard is a proud alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and has provided philanthropic support for various Penn programs throughout the years. His contributions have transformed campus life as well as the research and teaching missions for faculty and students.

Leonard is deeply engaged in education and holds various positions at Penn, including Emeritus Trustee, and is a founding member of the Board of Governors at the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies.”

“As we celebrate excellence in retail, Leonard Lauder stands out as an industry visionary whose legacy and leadership have profoundly shaped both the beauty and broader retail landscapes,” said Panos Linardos, Chairman, Retail Leaders Circle. “Mr. Lauder’s unparalleled impact aligns with the core values of the Retail Leaders Circle, and his lasting achievements underscore the profound influence that legendary leadership can have in shaping the trajectory of the retail industry.”

Lauder is also co-founder of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, which provides funding for clinical trials on a global scale. His continued philanthropic contributions include a substantial gift to New York’s Whitney Museum and he has pledged his renowned collection of Cubist art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Lauder’s career spanned three decades at the helm of The Estée Lauder Companies, which he joined in 1958. During his tenure, he initiated the establishment of the company’s first R&D laboratory and spearheaded strategic acquisitions that included renowned brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown and Aveda. While his tenure as CEO concluded in 1999, he continues to hold the position of Chairman Emeritus.

About the Baker Retailing Center

The Jay H. Baker Retailing Center is an interdisciplinary industry research center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Center influences research and encourages discussion on trending retail topics through programs and resources with faculty, students, and industry leaders. It was established in 2002 through a generous gift by Jay and Patty Baker. Jay Baker, former president and director of the Kohl’s Corporation, is a graduate of the Wharton School, class of 1956. Learn more about the Baker Retailing Center at bakerretail.wharton.upenn.edu.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the world’s first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is shaping the future of business by incubating ideas, driving insights, and creating leaders who change the world. With a faculty of more than 235 renowned professors, Wharton has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, and doctoral students. Each year 13,000 professionals from around the world advance their careers through Wharton Executive Education’s individual, company-customized, and online programs. More than 100,000 Wharton alumni form a powerful global network of leaders who transform business every day. For more information, visit wharton.upenn.edu.

About Retail Leaders Circle

Retail Leaders Circle (RLC) is a global strategic platform, powered by the New York Institute of Management, for expert-led debate between CEOs, industry innovators, and influencers with the power to shape the future of the retail agenda. It is focused on inspiring leaders to think collectively and creatively about disruptive intersections between industry and innovation, with the ultimate goal of promoting and catalyzing growth development and partnership. Over each year and across the US, Middle East, and Asia, RLC is producing powerful and inclusive convenings that elevate voices and perspectives across all retail to advance critical conversations around the industry’s most pressing topics. Discover more at retailleaderscircle.com.


Berns Communications Group

Alissa Heumann


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