ExploreIterate

Glossier Taps New CEO as Founder Steps Back After Tumultuous Year
Glossier’s founder and CEO, Emily Weiss, has announced that she will step down from her leadership role and shift to become the $1.8 billion online beauty retailer’s executive chairwoman.
Kyle Leahy (L) and Emily Weiss (R). Image courtesy of Glossier.
/
/
3 minute read

Glossier’s founder and CEO, Emily Weiss, has announced that she will step down from her leadership role and shift to become the $1.8 billion online beauty retailer’s executive chairwoman. The announcement coincides with news that Weiss will also go on maternity leave.

In her place, Weiss has tapped Cole Haan veteran and Glossier’s current Chief Commercial Officer, Kyle Leahy, as the eight-year-old digital-first beauty brand’s next CEO. As chief executive, Leahy will lead Glossier’s day-to-day operations and free Weiss up to spend more time with the company’s creative, brand, product and retail team—the company plans to relaunch a physical flagship store in New York next year.

In a blog post announcing the change, Weiss said she decided to step down during her annual self-check-in when she asked, “Am I the best person to lead the company, for where we are and where we’re headed? And if not, who is?”

Weiss found that Leahy, who she first approached to become the direct-to-consumer (D2C) company’s commercial chief in 2021, was the right woman for the job, stating, “She brings both a deep appreciation of the power of timeless consumer brands and the proven experience of leading large, dynamic organizations through transformational moments.”

Leahy joined Glossier in 2021 from Cole Hann, where she was the fashion house’s EVP and General Manager for North America. Before her nine-year career at Cole Hann, she spent less than a year at Nike as a Senior Analyst for Corporate Strategy and Development and four years as a management consultant.

Leahy steps into her new leadership role at Glossier following a rough year for the company, which raised an $80 million Series E funding round last July. In January 2022, the company laid off more than 80 corporate employees, roughly one-third of its workforce. Glossier previously laid off all of its retail employees and closed its stores in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of the most recent layoffs, which largely impacted Glossier’s tech team, Weiss admitted that Glossier made mistakes and wrote that the company had “prioritized certain strategic projects that distracted us from the laser-focus we needed to have on our core business: scaling our beauty brand. We also got ahead of ourselves on hiring. These missteps are on me.”

Moving forward Leahy will likely look to continue the company retail relaunch and will reportedly depart from its D2C strategy by utilizing wholesale partners to help the company grow its reach.

Sign up now: Stay up to date, level up and hire better with our behind the scenes newsletters at the world’s top startups.

By clicking "Continue" or continuing to use our site, you acknowledge that you accept our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. We also use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience on our website.