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Mary Dillon Named CEO of Foot Locker

Mary Dillon is making the leap from beauty to sneakers. 

The former Ulta Beauty chief has been named president and chief executive officer of Foot Locker Inc. starting next month. 

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Investors, hopeful that Dillon can work some of the magic she used to build Ulta into beauty leader, sent shares of Foot Locker up 23.8 percent to $39.60 in premarket trading on Wall Street.

She takes the reins from Richard Johnson, who will stay on as executive chairman through the end of January, when Dona Young will become non-executive chair. 

Dillon called Foot Locker “iconic” and said the company “possesses a strong set of values and focus on the customer experience as well as tremendous growth opportunities. 

“It is clear how Foot Locker sits at the heart of the global sport and sneaker community,” she said. “I look forward to working closely with Dick to ensure a smooth transition, and to partnering with the board, leadership team and nearly 50,000 team members around the world to build on Foot Locker’s strong foundation and help shape the company’s future.”

Johnson is capping a three-decade career at Foot Locker,  which he has led as CEO since 2014, growing the business from $7 billion that year to $9 billion in 2021.

The outgoing CEO said: “It has been a privilege and an honor to lead Foot Locker and work alongside the best team in retail for nearly 30 years. 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. The board and I have worked closely together on a thoughtful succession plan, and with a strong foundation in place and ongoing momentum against our strategic objectives, we believe now is the right time to complete the CEO transition. We are confident that Mary is the ideal person to serve as Foot Locker’s next CEO and lead the company forward. Mary has established a remarkable track record in the retail industry, and she brings an incredible mix of talent, experience and commitment to take Foot Locker to the next level.”