BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Beauty retailer Ulta Beauty has appointed former PepsiCo executive Mary Dillon as CEO and a member of the board, effective July 1. Interim CEO Dennis Eck will step down from his role at that time.
In February, Chuck Rubin stepped down as president, CEO and director to become CEO at Michaels Stores, a specialty retailer of arts and crafts.
“After conducting a thorough and robust search process, the board believes that Mary is the ideal person to lead Ulta Beauty as we enter our next phase of growth,” stated Eck. “Mary brings strategic vision, a rich consumer marketing background, strong operational experience, and a passion for the customer. Her experience with developing national brands, her expertise in the digital world, and her track record in building strong teams will all be important assets for Ulta Beauty. After spending the last several months working closely with the management team, I am certain that Mary will be an excellent cultural fit for the organization and lead Ulta Beauty to the next level.”
“With nearly three decades of experience leading consumer-driven businesses, Mary has the necessary leadership skills, experience as a public company CEO, and keen understanding of how to execute a successful digital strategy that will complement Ulta Beauty’s talented team to drive continued growth and success,” added Ken Stevens, Ulta Beauty’s non-executive chairman of the board.
Dillon joins Ulta Beauty from U.S. Cellular, where she served as president and CEO and a director since June 2010. At U.S. Cellular, a $4 billion national wireless carrier with operations in 26 states, 5.1 million customers and a network of 1,300 stores, Dillon led the company to develop new channels of distribution and revenue initiatives, implement an omni-channel strategy, and strengthen e-commerce platforms.
From 2005 to 2010, Dillon served as global CMO and EVP for McDonald's. Prior to joining McDonald's, Dillon was an executive at PepsiCo, where she held various positions of increasing responsibility, including president of the Quaker Foods division.
In addition, Dillon served as a member of the board for Target since 2007, and served as chair and executive committee member for CTIA — The Wireless Association. In a separate announcement, Target stated that Dillon has resigned from its board as a result of her new role at Ulta Beauty.
“As an active member of our board for the past six years, Mary has made many contributions to Target,” stated Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target. “We appreciate her service and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
“I am delighted to be joining a company with such a strong track record and tremendous growth opportunities and am excited to be part of the dynamic beauty industry,” stated Dillon. “Ulta Beauty has set itself apart in the industry – it has always placed a real premium on the customer experience while simultaneously innovating and adapting to changes in the market. The company is well positioned for the future and I look forward to working closely with Ulta Beauty’s excellent leadership team and 16,000 dedicated associates to build on its proven growth strategies.”
Earlier this month the beauty retailer stated that it is off to a “good start” for 2013. Sales for the first quarter ended May 4 rose about 23% to $582.7 million, compared with $474.1 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales increased 6.7%, including the impact of e-commerce sales.
Net income rose 20% during the first quarter to $41.8 million, compared with $34.9 million in the year-ago period. Income per diluted share increased 20.4% to 65 cents versus 54 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.