June 24, 2013, 10:16 AM

Cosmetics retailer Ulta hires a CEO

Mary Dillon replaces interim CEO Dennis Eck, the retailer says.

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Mary Dillon

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc., which sells more than 12,000 beauty products in stores and online, has named Mary Dillon as CEO, the retailer announced today. Dillon replaces interim CEO Dennis Eck. Her job begins on July 1, when she will also take a seat on Ulta’s board of directors, the company says.

“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,” says Ken Stevens, the non-executive chairman of Ulta’s board of directors.

Dillon leaves telecommunications provider U.S. Cellular, where she has worked since June 2010 as a director, president and CEO, Ulta says. While there, she led the development of an omnichannel strategy for U.S. Cellular and built up the company’s e-commerce platforms. Previously, from 2005 to 2010, Dillon served as chief marketing officer and executive vice president for McDonald’s Corp.. Before that, she held various executive positions at PepsiCo, including president of the Quaker foods division. She has also served since 2007 on the board of retail chain Target Corp., Ulta says.

“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,” outgoing CEO Eck says.

Ulta is No. 339 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Top 500 Guide. The retailer generated $40 million in web sales last year, up 21% from $33 million in 2011, according to the guide. This year, Ulta plans to redesign both its e-commerce and mobile commerce sites and it will expand its e-commerce fulfillment to another distribution center, chief financial officer Scott Settersten told analysts in a fourth quarter earnings call.

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