Ulta Beauty announces next CEO as 4Q sales drop 4.8 percent

Ulta Beauty announces next CEO as 4Q sales drop 4.8 percent

THE WHAT? Ulta Beauty has announced its results for the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2020. Net sales dropped 4.6 percent yoy in the final three months, to US$2.2 billion, while gross profit fell 4.4 percent to US$771 million.  

THE DETAILS Full-year sales were down 16.8 percent versus 2019 figures, to US$6.2 billion and gross profit decreased to US$1.9 billion compared to US$2.7 billion in fiscal 2019.

CEO Mary Dillon, however, remained upbeat, ““The Ulta Beauty team delivered better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter. Strong, enterprise-wide execution of our plans, combined with improving trends in consumer demand, resulted in solid results across multiple metrics, including sales, transactions and profitability.”

The company also announced that, following a thorough succession planning process, effective June, 2021: Dave Kimbell, President, will succeed Dillon as Chief Executive Officer. Dillon will transition to the role of Executive Chair of the Board of Directors and Kecia Steelman, currently Chief Store Operations Officer will be promoted to COO.

THE WHY? The challenges of fiscal 2020 have been well documented; with the pandemic closing stores for much of the year and stay home orders in place, retail has been hit hard. As for the leadership reshuffle, as Dillon explains, “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.”

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