Mary Dillon moving to Executive Board Chair at Ulta Beauty

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Prostock-Studio)
© Getty Images \ (Prostock-Studio)

Related tags Ulta beauty Mary Dillon Leadership people on the move

The retailer’s 8-year CEO will step aside in June 2021 amid several leadership changes set to take effect at Ulta Beauty in late spring.

“It has been the honor of my career to lead the Ulta Beauty family for the last eight years and a true joy to have been inspired by our dedicated associates and beauty-loving guests daily,” ​says Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillion in remarks shared with the press late last week.

“Our strategies, culture and continuous innovation have strengthened our business model, ensuring we are well-positioned to continue leading the industry,” ​she says.

Looking ahead to future Ulta leadership, Dillon explains that “throughout my time with the company, I have worked closely with our board on strategic succession plans, and I believe now is the right time to begin a CEO transition.”

“Dave is a world-class business leader with incredible passion, deep beauty expertise, unwavering drive and a values-based leadership style. The board, executive team and I could not be more thrilled to congratulate and support Dave as he takes this new role. There is no one better suited to unlock even more beautiful possibilities.”

Dave Kimbell, current President, to be next Ulta Beauty CEO

The 2021 Ulta Beauty stockholders meeting will take place on June 2; and at that meeting Dave Kimbell (who’s been with the company for over 7 years in marketing and merchandising roles and currently serves as President of Ulta Beauty) will be nominated to stand for election as CEO.

“I am humbled to serve as the next CEO of Ulta Beauty, succeeding Mary, whose leadership has been transformational, creating lasting impact across the beauty and retail industries,”​ Kimbell says in this month’s press release about the forthcoming leadership transition.

“We will continue to build upon the foundation she set to ensure Ulta Beauty is a destination where every guest feels welcome and every associate can have a fulfilling career,” ​he continues. “I appreciate the support from Mary and our entire board of directors and look forward to leading with Kecia, our outstanding executive team and every Ulta Beauty associate through the lens of our well-established values and winning culture.”

Dillion is expected to stay on with Ulta for one year as Executive Chair of the Board of Directors, replacing Robert DiRomuald (who’s held the post for 3 years).

“On behalf of the board of directors, we are thankful for Mary’s commitment and leadership which firmly established Ulta Beauty’s culture and vaulted its financial performance and value creation throughout her tenure as CEO,”​ says DiRomualdo in the company press release.

“One of Mary’s greatest legacies is the exceptional leadership team she has built,” ​he says, adding that “we look forward to her ongoing guidance and support as executive chair and have full confidence that Dave is the ideal leader to continue building the business, leading the industry and inspiring associates, guests, partners and investors alike.”

2021 leadership changes at Ulta Beauty

Also following the June stockholders meeting Chief Store Operations Officer Kecia Steelman will advance to the COO post. “Most recently,”​ notes the Ulta Beauty press release, “she led the unprecedented and fluid dynamics of store operations throughout 2020 through the lens of safety with steadfast resilience.”

And as COO Steelman will “will oversee store and services operations, supply chain, Ulta Beauty at Target and other, key initiatives.”

So far as the Board of Directors is concerned, Lorna Nagler (an Ulta Beauty board member since 2009) will “become Lead Independent Director working with Dillon in her executive chair role.”

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