50 years after its founding, Mary Kay Inc. — the company famous for rewarding its top salespeople with pink Cadillacs — has made its founder a billionaire.
Richard Rogers was 20 years old when his mother, the eponymous Mary Kay Ash, founded what is now the third-largest direct seller of cosmetics and skincare products, according to Bloomberg.
The company nets annual wholesale revenue of $US3 billion and has 3 million salespeople across the globe.
Rogers owns half of the company, valued at $US2.6 billion.
And the multi-level marketing industry has received a strange amount of attention recently, fuelled by the feud between billionaire investors Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn over the stock of Herbalife, another such company.
About 350,000 Mary Kay businesses were started globally in the past year, including 90,000 in the first quarter of 2013, according to a company press release. About half of Mary Kay’s U.S. sales agents are 35-years-old or younger. March was the company’s highest-grossing month on record.
Who knows if Herbalife will have Mary Kay’s shelf life. Bill Ackman, who is short the stock and has already reportedly lost $US300 million, surely hopes not.