Foot Locker Appoints Former Ulta Beauty Head Mary Dillon as CEO
Foot Locker announced last week that Mary Dillon, the former executive chair and CEO of Ulta Beauty, has been appointed president and CEO and a member of the Foot Locker board, effective Sept. 1. She will succeed Richard A. Johnson, who will retire on the same day. Johnson will continue as executive chairman of the board through Jan. 31, 2023, and will remain with the company as a senior advisor to the CEO until early April 2023 to facilitate a smooth transition.
During her eight-year stint as CEO of Ulta Beauty, Dillon guided the company to become the leading beauty destination in the U.S. and a successful omnichannel retailer with a best-in-class loyalty program. This led to revenue CAGR of 16 percent and the tripling of the company's market capitalization over her tenure. Previously, Dillon served as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors of U.S. Cellular, the global chief marketing officer of McDonald's Corp., and held leadership roles at PepsiCo.
Total Retail's Take: Good move, Foot Locker. Dillon is well-known in the retail industry as someone who knows how to get things done. During her tenure at Ulta, Dillon put much of her focus on expanding the retailer’s e-commerce business — a strategy Foot Locker has also been investing heavily in. The business world is supportive as well: Shortly after the announcement of the leadership transition late last week, Foot Locker’s shares surged in pre-market trading. Lastly, with this announcement, Dillon becomes the latest female CEO shifting the tide of gender diversity in the top executive role. As of October, 8.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs were women, according to the 2021 Women CEOs in America Report. Former Gap Inc. CEO Sonia Syngal’s recent departure left only 43 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.