Cara Sabin is Sundial Brands new CEO

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Richelieu Dennis, Cara Sabin, and Esi Eggleston Bracey (photo via @cara_sabin on Instagram)
Richelieu Dennis, Cara Sabin, and Esi Eggleston Bracey (photo via @cara_sabin on Instagram)

Related tags Ceo people on the move Unilever Sundial brands Leadership

The beauty marketing executive joined Unilever this week as CEO of Sundial Brands, where she’ll not only lead the Sundial business (which currently consists of four brands) but also the new Sundial Brands Social Mission Board.

Cara Sabin has a strong background in beauty marketing, having held roles at L’Oréal, Avon, Johnson & Johnson, Estée Lauder, and Shiseido. Until December 1st, when she officially began work as CEO of Sundial Brands, Sabin was vice president of marketing in the Americas region for Shiseido’s NARS Cosmetics business.

Sabin has also been making news lately as co-founder of 25 Black Women in Beauty​, a professional organization she co-founded this past Juneteenth with Ella T Gorgla, executive director of strategic initiatives and corporate innovation at The Estée Lauder Companies. The mission of 25 Black Women in Beauty (who’s membership exceeds 25) is “to celebrate, elevate and promote Black Women in Beauty through constructive, intentional collaboration and networking while inspiring one another toward our collective greatness.”

Cara Sabin joins Sundial Brands as CEO

“I’m incredibly excited to join the Sundial family and can’t wait to lead the company to its next level of impact and growth,”​ Sabin tells the press. “It’s an honor to lead a company whose legacy and purpose so tightly align with my personal passion, and I look forward to working with the Social Mission Board to scale our social mission and impact.”

Richelieu Dennis founded Sundial Brands in 1992. And the business now comprises four brands: SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, nyakio and MJCW. In 2018 Unilever acquired Sundial Brands​. And, the acquisition just happened to coincide with Esi Eggleston Bracey’s joining Unilever as executive vice president of personal care in North America.

In her new role as Sundial CEO, Sabin will report to Bracey: “I’m thrilled to have Cara join the Sundial team,”​ says Bracey in this week’s media release. “Cara brings an impressive record of supporting, growing and sustaining venerable businesses in the beauty category, and I look forward to the expertise and passion she will bring to the Sundial business.”

Sundial Brands adds to its conscious commerce strategy with a new Social Mission Board

Dennis who lead Sundial Brands as CEO until this month will continue with the business as part of a new Social Mission Board. Sabin will also have a leadership role with the board and other members will include Mary Dennis, Richelyna Hall, and Emmet Dennis, according to the media release.

Describing his thinking behind the new board, Dennis says: “When we created the Community Commerce business model almost 30 years ago, my family and I did so with a belief that we could build a successful business that also contributed to and invested in the building of other businesses and the sustainable economic empowerment of underserved people and communities.”

“Different from charity or philanthropy, Community Commerce was our mission and our passion long before concepts like ‘purpose-driven’ became popular, and it continues to be the cornerstone of everything we do,” ​Dennis tells the press. “As I move forward with increased focus on my entrepreneurial endeavors and investments, including our $100 million New Voices Fund for women of color entrepreneurs, I’m also excited to expand Community Commerce across Sundial and Unilever through the Social Mission Board and scale a proven model that fuses business performance and societal well-being. This has always been, and will always be, our North Star.”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands. Learn more about Deanna Utroske and her work in beauty here.

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