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09/01/2021

Sally Beauty Taps Former Michaels EVP as New CEO

Sally Beauty Holdings has named an executive from Sprouts Farmers Market and The Michaels Companies its next president and CEO and announced current CEO Chris Brickman will be stepping down.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Denise Paulonis joined Sprouts in February 2020. Photo Credit: Sprouts.

Sally Beauty Holdings has named Denise Paulonis its next president and chief executive officer and announced Chris Brickman will be stepping down.

Paulonis will take over October 1, 2021 and Brickman will continue to serve as president and CEO and as a member of the board until September 30, 2021, when he will step down from both positions. Thereafter, Brickman will serve in a consulting capacity through March 31, 2022, to support an orderly transition. This leadership transition is the result of the Board of Directors’ and Brickman’s deliberate and collaborative approach to succession planning, the company said.

Paulonis most recently served as CFO of Sprouts Farmers Market. From 2014 to 2020, Paulonis served in various executive roles at The Michaels Companies, including as EVP and CFO, Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, and Vice President of Corporate Finance, Investor Relations and Treasury. From 2000 to 2014, she held various senior level positions with PepsiCo, McKinsey & Company and Bank of America. She has been a member of Sally Beauty’s Board of Directors since 2018 and is the current chair of the audit committee. She earned a Bachelor of Science in finance and economics from Miami University and a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I am both honored and excited to have been appointed as Sally Beauty Holdings’ next Chief Executive Officer,” said Paulonis. “As a current Board member, I know firsthand what a driven team this is, and I could not be more excited to hit the ground running. We have an amazing opportunity to propel the company into its next chapter, solidifying our place as a leading beauty provider and moving forward as a dynamic, modern, inclusive and profitable business. I look forward to working with Sally Beauty Holdings’ strong management team and talented employees as we execute on our strategic priorities.”

“As the company emerges from the hard work of its transformation, both the Board and Chris agree that now is the right time for a change in leadership,” said Robert McMaster, Chair of the Sally Beauty Holdings Board of Directors. “During Chris’s tenure, the company ushered in many new initiatives, including strengthening Sally Beauty Holdings’ standing as the largest omnichannel hair color retailer, introducing modernized loyalty programs, investing significantly in technology and improving our digital capabilities, and leading the company through the pandemic. On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Chris for his service and many contributions to Sally Beauty Holdings over the past seven years and, in particular, for the talented team he has put in place. We wish him well in the next chapter of his career.

“The Board has taken a thoughtful approach to succession planning to ensure that Sally Beauty Holdings is best positioned to continue its momentum, and we unanimously believe Denise is the right leader to drive the next stage of the company’s growth. With her experience and proven commitment to the company, we believe Denise will provide fresh perspectives and valuable insights in order to take our brands and our company into the future. The Board and I look forward to working with Denise in her new role as we create significant value for our customers, shareholders and employees.”

“I am immensely proud of all that our team has accomplished, and I believe the best is yet to come for Sally Beauty Holdings,” said Brickman. “I congratulate Denise and look forward to working with her to ensure a seamless transition. I am confident that her leadership will inspire the team and drive the company to future growth and success.”