Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

At ULTA Beauty: Taake to Retire, Kimbell's Role Expanded & Two Merchandising Executives Promoted

Janet Taake (pictured), chief merchandising officer of ULTA Beauty, is retiring May 2 after spending six years at the nationwide salon-store chain.

ULTA Beauty CEO Mary Dillon announced Taake's upcoming retirement in her opening remarks March 12 during an earnings conference call with analysts on the beauty retailer's impressive fourth-quarter 2014 results, also announced March 12. (See the "ULTA Beauty Announces Fourth Quarter 2014 Results" news release.)

Dillon called Taake's career at ULTA Beauty "phenomenal," and said, "During Janet's tenure, she oversaw a dramatic evolution of our merchandise offering. She and her team added more than 100 major new brands to our assortment, developed our current store format—which significantly increased the presence of prestige brands in our mix—and brought tremendous discipline to the merchandise function.

"Janet and her team have developed excellent relationships with our vendors and established ULTA in the marketplace as a collaborative, entrepreneurial and highly-ethical business partner," added Dillon. "We're all extremely grateful for Janet's many contributions to our success, and she will surely be missed by me and the entire organization."

The change, stated Dillon, gives ULTA "an opportunity to create an integrated merchandising and marketing team structure by organizing these functions under one leader. Dave Kimbell, previously chief marketing officer, will now lead merchandising in addition to his current responsibilities over marketing, [customer relationship management], [the customer] loyalty [program] and ecommerce—in the newly created role of chief merchandising and marketing officer."

As chief marketing officer and executive vice president at U.S. Cellular before joining ULTA in February 2014, Kimbell was responsible for all aspects of marketing and merchandising—including pricing, vendor negotiations, promotions and inventory.

Additionally, Dillon communicated the promotion of two merchandising executives—Tara Simon and Julie Tomasi—to senior vice presidents. Both will now report to Kimbell.

Simon has been with ULTA for three years as vice president of merchandising, managing prestige cosmetics. In her new role, Simon's responsibilities are expanding to include prestige skin care, fragrance and trend development.

Tomasi has been with ULTA for five years—most recently as vice president of merchandising, managing professional hair care, professional male and personal-care appliances. In her new role, Tomasi's responsibilities are expanding to include all mass-merchandise product categories, private labeling and pricing.

Dillon stated, "We're very fortunate to have these strong leaders on the team to take on increased responsibilities and enable the creation of a structure that will further strengthen the organization and drive continued success for ULTA."

[Image courtesy of ULTA Beauty]

[Earnings-call transcript by Seeking Alpha used]