Ulta Beauty, a leading beauty retailer, has promoted Kecia L. Steelman to the position of President alongside her role as Chief Operating Officer. Steelman, who is highly regarded in the industry and seen as a potential successor to CEO Dave Kimbell, will now have expanded responsibilities within the company.
In her joint roles as President and Chief Operating Officer, Steelman will oversee various aspects of Ulta’s operations. This includes corporate strategy, information technology, store and services operations, supply chain management, Ulta Beauty at Target, enterprise-wide transformation, and loss prevention. One area of focus for Steelman is addressing inventory shrink, which refers to the difference between recorded inventory and actual stock, often caused by organized retail crime. This issue has impacted Ulta’s gross margin. To combat this, Steelman has led initiatives such as implementing locked fragrance cases in 70 percent of stores by the end of the year. This strategy has already shown positive results, with increased sales due to improved product availability.
Steelman’s journey within Ulta Beauty began in 2015 when she assumed the role of Chief Store Operations Officer. In 2021, she was appointed Chief Operating Officer when Dave Kimbell became CEO. Prior to joining Ulta, Steelman held the position of Group Vice President at Family Dollar Stores from 2011 to 2014.
Dave Kimbell, Ulta Beauty’s CEO, praised Steelman’s capabilities, highlighting her track record of driving operational excellence, fostering an inclusive culture, and creating exceptional experiences for customers. He expressed confidence in Steelman’s leadership abilities to contribute to the company’s success and drive profitable growth in the years ahead.
Ulta Beauty recently raised its full-year outlook after a strong second quarter. The company now anticipates net sales in the range of $11.05 billion to $11.15 billion, up from the previous forecast of $11 billion to $11.1 billion. Estimates for diluted earnings per share have also been adjusted to $25.10 to $25.60, reflecting the company’s positive outlook.