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New CEO at Ulta

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Beauty products retailer Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc. (ULTA) recently appointed Mary Dillon as chief executive officer (CEO) and a member of the board of directors, effective Jul 1, 2013.

Dillon will replace interim CEO Dennis Eck who took over the reins after CEO Chuck Rubin’s resignation in Feb 2013. Rubin put his papers down to join Michaels Stores Inc, North America's largest arts and craft retailer. Since then Ulta had been looking for a suitable successor.

Dillon has donned many important roles in her illustrious career. Prior to this, she worked for national wireless carrier U.S. Cellular as the president, CEO and a director since Jun 2010.

Under her leadership, U.S. Cellular scaled new heights by developing new distribution channels and revenue initiatives, implementing an omni-channel strategy, strengthening e-commerce platforms and enhancing customer experience.  

Prior to that, she served as the global chief marketing officer and executive vice president for restaurateur McDonald's Corp. (MCD) since 2005. Before that, Dillon was an executive at food and beverage company PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), where she assumed various posts including president of the Quaker Foods division. Furthermore, Dillon served as a member of the board of directors for retailer Target Corp. (TGT) since 2007.

Considering Dillon’s three decades of experience in top-managerial positions at leading consumer-driven businesses, she can easily be tagged as an industry veteran.

While Illinois-based Ulta boasts an extremely solid business model in the beauty retailing industry, it faced a tough time at the beginning of the year when it lost its CFO as well. However, Ulta carried on its winning momentum even in the first quarter of 2013 with earnings and sales growing more than 20%. Ulta currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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