Washington, D.C. 20549-1004

                                    FORM 8-K

                                 CURRENT REPORT
     Pursuant to Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

               Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported) :
                                 January 6, 2004

                         The Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
             (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware                                                   11-2408943
(State or other jurisdiction of                (IRS Employer Identification No.)
 incorporation or organization)

767 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York                      10153
(Address of principal executive offices)               (Zip Code)

                         Commission File Number: 1-14064

              (Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

                                 Not Applicable
          (Former name or former address, if changed since last report)

Item 5.  Other Events

On January 6, 2004, The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (the "Company") issued a
press release announcing that Fred H. Langhammer, President and Chief Executive
Officer, will retire from those positions and the Company's Board of Directors
effective June 30, 2004. Effective July 1, 2004, William P. Lauder, currently
Chief Operating Officer of the Company, will become Chief Executive Officer.
A copy of the press release is attached hereto as Exhibit 99.1 and is
incorporated herein by reference.


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the
undersigned, hereunto duly authorized.

                                           THE ESTEE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.

Date:  January 6, 2004                     By:   /s/Richard W. Kunes
                                                   Richard W. Kunes
                                                 Senior Vice President
                                              and Chief Financial Officer
                                                (Principal Financial and
                                                    Accounting Officer)

                         THE ESTEE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.

                                  EXHIBIT INDEX

Exhibit No.    Description
-----------    -----------

      99.1     Press release dated January 6, 2004 of the Estee Lauder Companies

                                                                    Exhibit 99.1

THE                                                          Investor Relations:
ESTEE                                                            Dennis D'Andrea
LAUDER                                                            (212) 572-4384

767 Fifth Avenue                                                Media Relations:
New York, NY  10153                                                 Sally Susman
                                                                  (212) 572-4430



New York, NY, January 6, 2004 - The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL)
announced today that William P. Lauder, Chief Operating Officer, will become the
next Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective July 1, 2004. At that
time, Fred H. Langhammer will retire as Chief Executive Officer, end his service
as a Board Director, and assume the newly created post of Chairman Global
Affairs. In this role, Mr. Langhammer will contribute his extraordinary
knowledge of the international environment to assist the Company.

"I am proud of our accomplishments and our enviable reputation built on 57
years of uninterrupted growth. Our Company has enormous strength around the
globe and I am delighted to pass the torch to William who I am confident will
take the Company to new heights," said Mr. Langhammer. "I am pleased, as well,
by the prospect of taking on a mission that combines my business and personal
passions. I remain deeply vested in the continued success of our Company and I'm
happy to help maximize global opportunities."

"I am honored to lead The Estee Lauder Companies and have enormous respect for
the people and the brands that make this Company so great," said Mr. William
Lauder. "I want to thank Fred Langhammer for his leadership and example. With
the support of our executives and employees around the world, I know we will
continue to evolve and grow our business."

Mr. William Lauder has had a highly successful 20-year career, making him a
knowledgeable veteran of the retailing and cosmetic businesses. Following a term
as Associate Merchandising Manager at Macy's, Mr. Lauder joined the Company in
1986 as Regional Marketing Director for Clinique. He has held several roles of
increasing responsibility including Field Sales Manager for Prescriptives and
President of Origins Natural Resources where he led the introduction and
development of this brand. In 1998, Mr. Lauder became President of Clinique
Laboratories and in 2001 his responsibilities were expanded to the role of Group
President where he led the worldwide business of Clinique, Origins, the rapidly
growing Retail Division encompassing the management of the Company's free-
standing stores, as well as the Company's on-line activities. In January 2003,
Mr. Lauder was named Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Lauder, 43, is a member of the Board of Directors of The Estee Lauder
Companies, The Fresh Air Fund and the 92nd Street Y and is a trustee of The
Trinity School. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of
Pennsylvania. He is the grandson of Mrs. Estee Lauder, the Company founder, and
the son of Evelyn H. and Leonard A. Lauder, the Senior Corporate Vice President
and Chairman respectively of the Estee Lauder Companies.

"I am delighted, and of course proud, to see William Lauder become Chief
Executive Officer", said Mr. Leonard Lauder. "One of our greatest competitive
assets is the ability to operate as a world-class public Company and keep the
spirit of family alive for all our employees. I know that William will hold true
to the traditions created by Mrs. Estee Lauder and enhanced by Fred Langhammer
during his distinguished service as our Chief Executive Officer."

Fred Langhammer has received numerous accolades for his achievements as a
leading Chief Executive Officer. Known as an internationalist, Mr. Langhammer
joined the Company in 1975 as President of the Estee Lauder Companies Japan and
later became Managing Director of Estee Lauder Companies Germany. In 1985 he was
named Chief Operating Officer, with the title President added in 1995. In 2000,
Mr. Langhammer became Chief Executive Officer distinguishing himself by his
strong sense of integrity, keen focus on fiscal performance and enthusiasm for
new ideas.

"With Fred Langhammer becoming Chairman Global Affairs we maintain our tradition
of continuity. Fred and I have had a superb working relationship for almost 30
years and I am grateful that he proposed this new position allowing us to
continue our wonderful and close association," continued Mr. Leonard Lauder.

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world's leading manufacturers and
marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The
Company's products are sold in more than 130 countries and territories under
well-recognized brand names, including Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique,
Prescriptives, Origins, M.A.C, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, jane,
Donna Karan, Aveda, Stila, Jo Malone, Bumble and bumble, kate spade beauty,
Darphin, Michael Kors, Rodan & Fields.