Dave Kimbell to Become CEO of Ulta Beauty

He succeeds Mary Dillon, who will become executive chairman of the board of directors for one year.

Dave Kimbell will become chief executive officer of Ulta Beauty in June, succeeding Mary Dillon, who has been in the role since June 2013. Kecia Steelman, currently chief store operations officer, will be elevated to the role of chief operating officer. Kimbell, currently president, will also be nominated to stand for the company’s board of directors.

Dillon, who will transition to the role of executive chair of the board, has guided the Bolingbrook, Ill.-based retailer through a period of exceptional growth.

When she joined, Ulta operated 576 stores; today, that number is more than 1,250 doors in all 50 states and the company also has a thriving e-commerce business. The company’s market capitalization tripled to $18 billion and she delivered total shareholder return of 245 percent, according to Ulta.

“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,” Dillon said in a statement. “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.”

Kimbell joined the company in 2014 as chief marketing officer, added merchandising responsibility to his role one year later and was named president in 2019.

“I am humbled to serve as the next CEO of Ulta Beauty, succeeding Mary, whose leadership has been transformational, creating lasting impact across the beauty and retail industries,” Kimbell said in the statement.

“We will continue to build upon the foundation she set to ensure Ulta Beauty is a destination where every guest feels welcome and every associate can have a fulfilling career,” he continued. “I appreciate the support from Mary and our entire board of directors and look forward to leading with Kecia, our outstanding executive team and and every Ulta Beauty associate through the lens of our well-established values and winning culture.”