September 10, 2012 / 9:53 PM / 6 years ago

Avon names former Novartis general counsel as new top lawyer

(Reuters) - Avon Products Inc (AVP.N) said on Monday it has appointed a former in-house lawyer at Novartis Corp NOVN.VX with experience in government investigations to be its new general counsel.

Jeff Benjamin, who held various general counseling positions at Novartis from 1996 until he retired in 2011, will start at Avon on Wednesday and also join its executive committee.

He will report to Avon Chief Executive Sheri McCoy, who joined the cosmetics company in April from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N).

Avon is being probed by U.S. regulators on whether the company broke U.S. anti-bribery laws overseas in the last decade. McCoy said last month that Avon is in talks to settle the probe.

Benjamin replaces Kim Rucker who left in July to become general counsel at Kraft Foods Inc. KFT.O

Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Richard Chang

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