For the first time, Adore Beauty has a CEO who was not involved in starting the business 20 years ago.
Tennealle O’Shannessy has taken on the top job at the fast-growing online retailer from Seek, where she was previously managing director of the Americas.
She has replaced James Height, one of the co-founders of Adore Beauty along with Kate Morris, who served as CEO for the past 2.5 years.
Morris, the face of the business, was CEO for most of the company’s history, before handing the baton to Height and transitioning into the role of executive director in January 2018.
Both Height and Morris will now serve as executive directors, though Morris will continue to be the face of the business.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tennealle to the Adore Beauty team,” Morris said in a statement about the appointment.
In addition to O’Shannessy’s expertise in business operations, strategy, leadership and business transformation, Morris said her values-led approach was an important factor in the hiring decision.
“We felt that Tennealle clearly shared our values and would absolutely be the right person to come onboard as our new CEO. I am looking forward to working closely with her,” she said.
Morris and Height have worked with Tennealle for the past few months to ensure a smooth transition.
“Having built this business from the ground up over a 20-year period, our commitment to supporting the future success of Adore Beauty is unwavering,” Height said.
The appointment comes nearly one year after the co-founders sold a 60 per cent stake in the company to Quadrant Private Equity to accelerate Adore Beauty’s growth in the booming cosmetics sector.
Justin Ryan, managing partner at Quadrant and chairman at Adore Beauty, said O’Shannessy “adds further strength” to the leadership team and enhances its “capability to deliver the company’s future growth potential”.
For her part, O’Shannessy said the company is “well placed for is next phase of growth” and is excited to be part of the journey.
“I have admired Adore Beauty as a disruptive digital business and have been impressed by Kate and James’ focus on values, execution and continuous innovation,” she said.
“They have built an incredible business that implicitly understands their customers’ needs in a unique and personal way.”