Estée Lauder Companies 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 be responsible for ELC's Online business globally, leading e-commerce and omnichannel platforms. He will partner closely with Global Brand Presidents and other executive leaders across the organization to drive a highly interconnected omnichannel strategy.
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. Together, they will "turbocharge breakthrough, brand-building digital innovation through compelling data and insights," ELC states.
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.
“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.”
Celebrating Dennis McEniry's 20-Year Career as ELC's Inaugural Online PresidentELC credits McEniry's expertise and leadership for its expansion from 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.
“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."
Lauder continues, "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.”
McEniry 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, he was named the inaugural president of ELC Online.
“Dennis has been a truly innovative and visionary digital leader,” said Fabrizio Freda. “He has overseen the incredible expansion of this division. Thanks to him and his team, ELC Online remains vital to our strong and sustainable growth..."
Freda continues, "...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.”
Prior to the widespread advent of smartphones, McEniry 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. His many accomplishments includes the continued growth of ELC Online, which represented 22 percent of the company’s net sales in fiscal 2020.
ELC states, "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."
ELC says that as its online business surged globally this year during the Covid-19 pandemic, McEniry 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 McEniry 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.
McEniry comments, “I am deeply proud of all that my team and I have accomplished. 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."
He continues, "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.”
More About Gibu Thomas, ELC Online's New PresidentGibu joins ELC from PepsiCo, Inc., where he served as senior vice president and global head of e-commerce for the past five years. 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.
Prior, Gibu served as senior vice president, Mobile and Digital at Walmart Inc., where he oversaw all mobile initiatives across stores and online, as well as digital media programs.
In this global role, Gibu significantly grew Walmart’s m-commerce revenues, launched innovative omnichannel digital capabilities.
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.
Photo: (Gibu Thomas) via ELC