- CompanyUlta Beauty
A veteran of stints at McDonald’s, Gatorade, and U.S. Cellular, Mary Dillon took the helm at fast-expanding Ulta in mid-2013, and all she’s done since is double sales and profits, improve margins, and score hefty gains in same-store sales. Dillon has upgraded the company’s e-commerce backbone and elevated its product mix. Here’s how we put it in a recent profile: Ulta’s formula for selling beauty products—put them all under one roof and offer deals, deals, deals—turned the chain into a fast-growing juggernaut, a very rare success story in a gloomy decade for retail. Though it largely eschews posh urban shopping districts, Ulta is now the country’s biggest specialized beauty retailer. What it lacks in glamour, it makes up for in concrete results.