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Foot Locker’s Dick Johnson to Step Down, Names Ulta Beauty’s Mary Dillon as CEO

Foot Locker CEO Dick Johnson will retire from his role, the company announced today. His departure will be effective Sept. 1.

Former executive chair and CEO of Ulta Beauty Mary Dillon will come on board as the company’s new CEO. Johnson will serve as executive chairman of the board through Jan. 31, 2023, after which Foot Locker’s lead independent director Dona Young will replace him as the company’s non-executive chair.

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Foot Locker’s shares surged in premarket trading on the announcement of the transition and a quarterly earnings beat.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to lead Foot Locker and work alongside the best team in retail for nearly 30 years,” Johnson said in a statement. “Together, we have built a broad house of brands and banners fueled by a shared passion for the global sneaker community. We have turned a brick-and-mortar company into an interactive retail community poised for long-term growth in the digital era.”

Johnson assumed the role of CEO in 2014 following the departure of Ken Hicks. Prior to that, Johnson had been with Foot Locker for almost two decades. During his CEO tenure, Johnson helped the company grow to achieve approximately $9 billion in sales in 2021, up from about $7 billion in 2014. He also oversaw a series of strategic acquisitions for the company, including WSS and Atmos in 2021, and helped the company evolve its digital transformation and expansion strategy, focusing on hyperlocal connections via stores.

Dillon comes to Foot Locker with more than 30 years of consumer business experience. Prior to serving as the CEO and executive chair of Ulta Beauty, she also served as the president and CEO of U.S. Cellular and as the global chief marketing officer of McDonald’s.

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% of Fortune 500 CEOs were women, according to the 2021 Women CEOs in America Report. And former Gap Inc. CEO Sonia Syngal’s recent departure left only 43 female CEOs on the Fortune 500.

“I am thrilled to be joining Foot Locker, an iconic company that possesses a strong set of values and focus on the customer experience as well as tremendous growth opportunities,” Dillon said in a statement. “It is clear how Foot Locker sits at the heart of the global sport and sneaker community, and I am excited to become part of the Company’s team.”

Foot Locker also reported results for the second quarter, which included net income of $94 million, or $0.99 per share, and total sales of $2.07 billion.