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Ulta, Sephora rival taps consulting, retail veteran as new CEO


The baton has been passed at Beauty Brands as it looks to enter its “next phase of growth.”

The Kansas City-based, 61-storeretailer has named Caryn Lerner as CEO, succeeding Lyn Kirby, who will remain chairman. Kirby is part of the group that bought Beauty Brands in 2014 from founder Bob Bernstein. Since then, she has served as CEO and chairman of the company, reportedly commuting between Chicago and Kansas City. Prior to Beauty Brands, Kirby served as CEO of Ulta Beauty.

"This management transition to a CEO resident in Kansas City has been our ambition since the time of our initial investment in Beauty Brands, and I am delighted that, in Caryn, we have found an experienced CEO who can lead the company through its growth phase,” said Kirby.

Beauty Brands’ new CEO, Lerner, has served as an operating partner at Palladin Capital Group since 2013, sourcing investment opportunities for the luxury, retail and consumer product categories. Her duties also included handling due diligence work ahead of investing. Prior to Palladin, she was senior retail advisor for Boston Consulting Group.

Between 2011 and 2012, Lerner served as president and CEO of Daffy’s, a New Jersey-based off-price chain. From 2004 to 2010, she served as president and CEO of Canada’s Holt Renfrew department store company.

In addition, Lerner previously held positions at Escada, U.S.A., QVC Networks, Jones New York, Barney’s and Bloomingdale’s.

“Beauty Brands is in a very strong position right now, with a loyal customer base, talented team, and high-quality offering including a wide selection of beauty products from famous brands to indie labels, together with highly attractive salon and spa services,” Lerner said. “I look forward to leveraging those advantages to bring the company into its next phase of growth.”

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