The departure of former president and chief executive officer of Sephora North America Calvin McDonald leaves Sephora with a big hole to fill.
Calvin McDonald with Christopher de Lapuente, global ceo of Sephora
McDonald, who has led Sephora through beauty’s digital revolution, is leaving the business after five years to take the ceo role at Lululemon. McDonald led the charge on big Sephora initiatives like the Sephora Innovation Lab, which helps the business test digital experiences on the web, and Sephora Studios, a small-format, brick-and-mortar, service-heavy concept.
His successor needs to be ready to lead Sephora Americas through the rapidly shifting beauty world, experts agree. That means Sephora should lean toward a candidate who is well-versed in the digital landscape, industry insiders said.
“[Sephora] needs somebody who is a visionary in terms of what really will come next in beauty,” said Wendy Liebman, ceo of WSL Strategic Retail. “They are moving into a whole different space of competition that they’ve never had before.”
That competition is coming from multiple angles. Sephora has long dominated the U.S. specialty retail game, but in recent years, Ulta Beauty, which has different real estate and merchandising strategies, has grown significantly. The retailer plans to open 100 new locations per year