Today The Estée Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) announced that after nearly 20 years with the company, Dennis McEniry, President of ELC’s Online division, will retire at the end of this calendar year. He will be succeeded by Gibu Thomas, who will assume the role of President, ELC Online, effective November 16, 2020. Gibu will report directly to Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer. Dennis will work closely with Gibu through the end of the year to support a smooth and successful transition.
“Dennis has been a truly innovative and visionary digital leader,” said Fabrizio Freda. “As the inaugural President of ELC Online, he has overseen the formation and incredible expansion of this division. Thanks to him and his team, ELC Online remains vital to our strong and sustainable growth, and is a leading, brand-building platform that enables us to deliver high-quality products and experiences to millions of consumers worldwide. Omnichannel and Online are more important and quickly-evolving than ever before, and we are poised for continued success in these areas thanks to Dennis’ work. His positive energy, dynamic leadership style and unique ability to marry the art and science of online will certainly be missed.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Gibu to The Estée Lauder Companies as the new President of ELC Online,” continued Mr. Freda. “He is a highly talented and respected digital expert with a proven record of success in e-commerce, technology infrastructure, digital media, mobile and omnichannel. Throughout his exemplary career, which includes leading digital enterprises to scale at large global businesses as well as extensive entrepreneurial experience in Silicon Valley startups, he has driven meaningful, transformative growth for global brands with speed and agility. His deep understanding of consumer behavior, and ability to anticipate trends and build dynamic digital experiences, make him ideally suited to this role.”
Please find further information about Dennis’ tenure and Gibu’s appointment below.
Dennis McEniry to Retire as President, ELC Online
Dennis joined ELC as Vice President, Technology, in 2001, when its e-commerce platform – started in 1996 by William P. Lauder – was still in its early days. In 2003, Dennis was named the inaugural President of ELC Online, giving him oversight of a new and highly complex brand-building channel that would quickly become vital to the company’s strong, sustainable growth. Thanks to Dennis’ tremendous expertise and leadership, ELC Online has expanded from just four U.S.-based websites to a global, highly diversified presence in more than 50 countries, 350 brand.com sites, 80 brand boutiques on platforms such as Tmall, and 1,700 retailer.com doors. Prior to the widespread advent of smartphones, Dennis and his team were early adopters in leveraging and deploying mobile technology globally. Today, ELC has leading global platforms in e-commerce and m-commerce, both of which enable the company to deliver high-quality products and High-Touch digital luxury experiences to millions of consumers across brands and regions.
Among Dennis’ many accomplishments has been the establishment and continued growth of ELC Online, which represented 22 percent of the company’s net sales in fiscal 2020. This success is in large part due to Dennis’ keen ability to differentiate ELC’s prestige brands’ products and services within the online space through innovative High-Touch luxury consumer experiences that leverage best-in-class, continuously updated creativity and technology.
As a global leader who is deeply attuned to regional trends and shifts in technology and consumer behavior, Dennis’ foresight and growth mindset have been essential in fueling the company’s geographic online expansion. Today, ELC is a top beauty company on Tmall, the world’s largest online luxury mall, and a critical component of ELC’s strategy to continue to win share with the Asia/Pacific consumer.
Dennis has been especially instrumental in leading omnichannel partnerships across the organization, facilitating seamless retailing across channels that thoughtfully blurs the lines between Online and in-store. As the Online business surged globally in fiscal 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dennis and his team played a crucial role in accelerating investments across ELC’s brand sites, helping the company reach more consumers and driving increased conversion rates. Notably, the company’s sophisticated Online fulfillment capabilities, which Dennis developed and oversaw, were perfectly positioned to meet this increased demand. As a result, the Online channel achieved 100% growth during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020.
An energetic and inspiring leader, Dennis’ team-building ability has been integral to the success of ELC Online. He has built a diverse and truly exceptional team of global digital experts, encouraging them to think and act like a tech company within a beauty company. An enthusiastic supporter of Inclusion and Diversity, Dennis and his team have long supported women in tech, and partnered with several renowned organizations in this area, including Girls Who Code, a non-profit designed to close the gender gap in the tech industry.
“It has been a pleasure to partner closely with Dennis over the years,” said William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies. “When Online was still a new and relatively unfamiliar channel to many, Dennis helped to ensure that the company was an early adopter of the e-commerce marketplace. Since then, he and his team have done a terrific job of always evolving ELC Online ahead of digital and technology trends. In addition to being a well-respected and strategic leader, Dennis is also a truly wonderful colleague and friend, and I wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
“I am deeply proud of all that my team and I have accomplished,” said Dennis McEniry. “While the global digital and technology landscape has evolved significantly, ELC Online has always advanced ahead of the curve, successfully anticipating trends and capturing the biggest, most promising opportunities for sustainable growth. At the same time, we’ve stayed true to our core mission of providing consumers with high-quality luxury products and experiences online, reaching millions around the globe. While the decision to retire is of course bittersweet, I know that the incredible ELC Online team – with Gibu’s deep expertise and natural leadership abilities at the helm – is poised to continue to drive tremendous growth.”
Gibu Thomas Appointed President, ELC Online
Gibu will assume the role of President, ELC Online, where he will be responsible for the company’s Online business globally, leading e-commerce and omnichannel platforms, and will leverage his forward-thinking, strategic approach to digital channels to continue to accelerate growth and reach for ELC’s brands. Additionally, he will partner closely with Global Brand Presidents and other executive leaders across the organization to drive a highly interconnected omnichannel strategy that supports ELC’s High-Touch consumer experience and leverages every touchpoint to build brand equity and drive consumer engagement and loyalty. Gibu will also work closely with Jane Lauder in her new role as Executive Vice President, Enterprise Marketing and Chief Data Officer, to further integrate the company’s analytic capabilities and turbocharge breakthrough, brand-building digital innovation through compelling data and insights.
Gibu joins the company from PepsiCo, Inc., where he served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of E-Commerce for the past five years. During his tenure, he was responsible for the holistic strategic direction and execution of PepsiCo’s global e-commerce business, which he oversaw and grew from the ground up. As a transformational agent of change within the organization, Gibu implemented a multi-phase omnichannel strategy, accelerating the growth of PepsiCo’s legacy brands through performance marketing, data science and multi-platform analytic capabilities. He led a global team of more than 300 digital professionals who were embedded throughout the business, and notably, opened PepsiCo’s first dedicated e-commerce headquarters in New York City, as well as a digital hub in Silicon Valley.
In the early-to-mid 2000s, Gibu was a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, helping to build multiple innovative startups, including Bluelark Systems, which created and launched Blazer, the award-winning web browser on PalmOS devices, and was acquired by Handspring in 2001. He later served as co-founder and CEO of SugarSync, a leading-peer-to-peer cloud storage and mobile synchronization platform that was eventually acquired in 2015. With a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from University of Kerala in India, Gibu possesses both a keen business sense as well as deep-seeded technical acumen.
“I am thrilled to be joining The Estée Lauder Companies,” said Gibu Thomas. “Dennis has done a truly incredible job of leading ELC Online, and of developing a uniquely talented and dynamic team. It’s an honor to step into this leadership role, and I am eager to continue to build on the success and growth of this quickly-evolving area of the business. I am also looking forward to partnering with Fabrizio and the entire Executive Leadership Team to contribute to the overall success and continued growth of ELC.”
About The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company’s products are sold in approximately 150 countries and territories under brand names including: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M·A·C, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, Tom Ford, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, KILIAN PARIS, BECCA, Too Faced and Dr. Jart+.