Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

ULTA Beauty Names New CEO

ULTA Beauty Names New CEO

ULTA Beauty has a new CEO and board director as of July 1: Mary Dillon. She replaced interim CEO Dennis K. Eck, who held that position since February when Chuck Rubin stepped down as president and CEO to become CEO at Michaels Stores.

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 omnichannel strategy and strengthen ecommerce platforms. By delivering an excellent wireless experience through an array of industry-first initiatives that reward loyalty and inspire customer advocacy, Dillon and her team were instrumental in creating an exceptional customer experience that was recognized by several leading consumer-ratings organizations. During her tenure, she drove improvements in marketing execution, created an innovation process and strengthened relationships with key vendors to deliver more competitive offerings and launches.

From 2005 to 2010, Dillon served as global CMO and executive vice president for McDonald’s. Prior to McDonald's, she was an executive at PepsiCo, where she held various positions of increasing responsibility—including president of the Quaker Foods division. Additionally, Dillon served as a member of the board of directors for Target since 2007, and served as chair and executive committee member for CTIA—The Wireless Association.

“Mary brings strategic vision, a rich consumer-marketing background, strong operational experience and a passion for the customer," says Eck."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.”

Ken Stevens, ULTA Beauty’s non-executive chairman of the board, adds, “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.”

Dillon states, “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. 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.”

[Image courtesy of ULTA Beauty]