Pauline J. Brown

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Pauline Brown joined the faculty of HBS in 2016 and is designing a new course for second-year MBA students, called “The Business of Aesthetics.”

Throughout her career, Pauline has helped to acquire, grow and lead premium global brands.  She most recently was the Chairman of North America at the world's largest luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where she provided regional leadership for about 70 brands in 5 sectors, including fashion & leather goods, perfumes & cosmetics, watches & jewelry, wines & spirits, and selective retailing.  Prior to joining LVMH, Pauline was a Managing Director at the private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, where she specialized in buyouts in the global consumer and retail sectors.  And, prior to Carlyle, she held senior executive roles at leading cosmetics companies, including Estee Lauder and Avon.  She began her career as a Management Consultant at Bain & Co.  

Pauline Brown joined the faculty of HBS in 2016 and is designing a new course for second-year MBA students, called “The Business of Aesthetics.”

Throughout her career, Pauline has helped to acquire, grow and lead premium global brands.  She most recently was the Chairman of North America at the leading luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where she provided regional leadership for about 70 brands in 5 sectors, including fashion & leather goods, perfumes & cosmetics, watches & jewelry, wines & spirits, and selective retailing.  She also sat on the board of L Capital, a private equity fund backed by LVMH.  

Prior to joining LVMH, Pauline was a Managing Director at the private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, where she specialized in buyouts in the global consumer and retail sectors.  

Pauline joined Carlyle from Avon Products, where she was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Global Business Development, responsible for developing the company's long-term growth strategy and driving key components of a major restructuring plan.  She reported to the Chairman and CEO and was a member of the Executive Committee, which met regularly to address enterprise-wide issues and review the company’s operating performance.  She came to Avon from The Estee Lauder Companies, where she was the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and New Business Development, in charge of all mergers, acquisitions and licensing activities.  During her tenure, Pauline helped to expand Estee Lauder's portfolio from 8 to 25 distinct beauty brands.  Pauline began her business career as a Management Consultant at Bain & Company.

Since 2008, she has been a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, a program that seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders. In 2013, she joined the Board of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program.  She also currently sits on the Boards of the Parsons School of Design and Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation.  Earlier in her career, she sat on the boards of the National Retail Federation, Cosmetic Executive Women and Fashion Group International.

Pauline received an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.  She is a member of the Executive Alumni Councils of both schools.

She and her husband, Marshall Brown, have two children and live in New York.

  1. Overview

    by Pauline J. Brown

    The Business of Aesthetics is a new course for second-year students who are considering careers in sectors and companies whose long-term financial value is built on their ability to deliver aesthetic value. Such companies are rewarded not only for eliciting a high degree of pleasure in those who buy their goods and services, but also for spurring desirability among others who aspire to them. The course is designed to enhance students’ ability to discern and appraise businesses through their own senses – a critical and oftentimes under-developed skillset for corporate executives, entrepreneurs and investors alike - as well as to analyze the issues and challenges of running aesthetic business from a strategic, financial, organizational and cultural vantage.

    Keywords: Aesthetics; Luxury Goods; retail; consumer goods; design; creativity; consumer behavior; brand building; experience goods; Fashion Industry; Retail Industry; Technology Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Travel Industry;