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Publisher's Summary

In his much-anticipated memoir, The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty, Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies Leonard A. Lauder shares the business and life lessons he learned as well as the adventures he had while helping transform the mom-and-pop business his mother founded in 1946 in the family kitchen into the beloved brand and ultimately into the iconic global prestige beauty company it is today. 

In its infancy in the 1940s and 50s, the company comprised a handful of products, sold under a single brand in just a few prestigious department stores across the United States. Today, The Estée Lauder Companies constitutes one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of prestige skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products. It comprises more than 25 brands, whose products are sold in over 150 countries and territories. This growth and success was led by Leonard A. Lauder, Estée Lauder’s oldest son, who envisioned and effected this expansion during a remarkable 60-year tenure, including leading the company as CEO and Chairman. 

In this captivating personal account complete with great stories as only he can tell them, Mr. Lauder, now known as The Estée Lauder Companies’ “Chief Teaching Officer”, reflects on his childhood, growing up during the Great Depression, the vibrant decades of the post-World War II boom, and his work growing the company into the beauty powerhouse it is today. 

Mr. Lauder pays loving tribute to his mother Estée Lauder, its eponymous founder, and to the employees of the company, both past and present, while sharing inside stories about the company, including tales of cutthroat rivalry with Charles Revson of Revlon and others. The book offers keen insights on honing ambition, leveraging success, learning from mistakes, and growing an international company in an age of economic turbulence, uncertainty, and fierce competition. 

©2020 Leonard A. Lauder (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Company I Keep

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The company I keep

Boring as bay shit. I didn’t even get past the second chapter. Do not recommend

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  • MB
  • 23-11-2020

Enchanting & motivational

I didn’t want to part ways with Mr. Lauder.
I felt a deep connection to him through this book. Will be ordering the book to read it and savor it more. What an incredible man
Mr. Lauder is! Thank you for sharing your heart with the world. The last chapter left me in awe and emotional.
God bless you,Mr. Lauder.


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  • Truth Be Told
  • 21-11-2020

Where’s the cream?

I admire Leonard Lauder for all he did for the domestic and international beauty industry; this book however is much about his personal life than business anecdotes, lessons and strategies. The book isn’t written well, repeats itself and has many inaccuracies. Mr. Lauder states Merle Norman is defunct. Wrong! As of this writing they are still a viable company. The book misnames a Clinique product as "7th Day Scrub," when it is actually "7 Day Scrub." No loss of admiration for these oversights, but I would have expected better; however, I can’t recommend this book either. It seems haphazardly written like time was of essence. The person reading the book is an absolute, deadpan bore! I don’t know why Mr. Lauder didn’t read it personally or at very least have a woman be the voice of his story and amazing journey. Nonetheless, Mr. Lauder will go down as one of the titans of the beauty industry along with his mother Estee Lauder, Charles Revson, Mary Kay, Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden, Georgette Klinger, Eve of Rome, Ilona of Hungary, Erno Laszlo, Christine Valmy, Aida Grey, Elizabeth Grady and others. The beauty industry owes you big league Mr. Lauder.

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  • Shaun Wootten
  • 15-05-2021

In The Industry

Loved the book! Very relatable to me because I'm in the skincare industry, but teaches you skills potentially for all industries. First to market always wins!

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  • Kathleen Danyi
  • 18-03-2021

Great insight and storyline for a growing company.

This book held my attention to the end. I found it interesting as it flowed through multiple decades to tell how vision and hard work wins big. Mr. Lauder's story has something for everyone; personal, business, historical elements, prestige products, marketing, art, philanthropy. Mr. Morey narrates very effectively.

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  • Andrew
  • 16-02-2021

Beyond my Expectations

Honestly, I am Blown away! I am an Lauder fan and supporter from now on!

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  • Alison R. Baker
  • 09-02-2021

This was an equally inspiring and enjoyable book!

Mr. Lauder is charming and this book offers some valuable leadership advice. I must say that I enjoyed hearing about the Lauder women including Judy Glickman the most! The personal stories are very entertaining and his storytelling reflects Mr. Lauder’s great love and respect for these woman and the company he keeps.

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  • Yahen Gasca
  • 02-01-2021

Hard to put down

I loved this wonderful life story ...sometimes found it hard to put down ... the story is very educational s as well as entertaining... I especially loved the parts about Leonards Mother .., Maybe her book will be next!

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  • Christopher P Westad
  • 18-12-2020

Very Good Business Read

Leonard Lauder provides a very detailed overview of his entire life. many very good business pointers in here along with an insight into how he thinks.

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  • Jeffrey E. Bigman
  • 15-12-2020

Terrific listen

The Lauder family story is truly an American dream. As an American Jew it also gives me naches to hear of the wonderful spirit of giving back that resides in the family. Well written and well performed. As a business owner it also has great lessons on how to treat people well and still succeed. In today’s society we need more Menches.

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  • Georgia Lady
  • 12-12-2020

A life well lived

Well written and very interesting. Mr. Lauder is a visionary leader and philanthropist. A true American story.

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