Will CEO transition look good on Ulta Beauty?
Ulta Beauty is getting ready to give its c-suite a new management look. The nation’s largest beauty retailer announced yesterday that CEO Mary Dillon will be stepping down from that spot in June and turning over leadership of the chain to Dave Kimbell, currently president of Ulta.
Ms. Dillon, who has led Ulta for eight years, credited the retailer’s success during her tenure to the dedicated associates that serve their customers. “Our strategies, culture and continuous innovation have strengthened our business model, ensuring we are well-positioned to continue leading the industry,” she said.
While she may be stepping down, Ms. Dillon will remain involved in Ulta’s success as its executive chair.
Mr. Kimbell, described as “a results-driven, inclusive leader,” has been on Ms. Dillon’s team since 2014 when he joined Ulta as its chief marketing officer. A year later he was named chief merchandising and marketing officer before being elevated to the president role in 2019.
“Our dynamic business plays a unique and important role in the beauty industry and in our guests’ lives — and we are committed to continue operating with deep respect for that role while innovating and winning together,” he said.
Mr. Kimbell will certainly have big shoes to fill as Ulta’s CEO. The chain saw its market capitalization more than triple to over $!8 billion during Ms. Dillon’s term. She has received praise for creating a successful and inclusive culture at the retailer that has more than doubled its store count and loyalty program members and significantly improved its digital capabilities during her tenure.
Last year proved a challenging one for Ulta. The chain reported a net sales decrease of 16.8 percent, with same-store comps down 17.9 percent. Ulta also took a hit on margins. Its gross profit came in at 31.7 percent in 2020, compared to 36.2 percent the year before.
The chain did, however, finish the fourth quarter and the year on a high note as it cut its net sales decrease to 4.6 percent and announced a deal that will place Ulta Beauty at Target shops inside hundreds of the mass merchandiser’s stores in the coming years. More than 100 will open in 2021.
- Ulta Beauty Announces CEO Transition – Ulta Beauty
- Ulta Beauty Announces Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results – Ulta Beauty
- Will Ulta shops turn Target into a beauty destination? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think are the reasons that Ulta Beauty has done so well under Mary Dillon for the eight years she has led the company? How confident are you that Dave Kimbell will keep the chain moving in an upward direction?