Emily Weiss is stepping down as CEO of Glossier, she announced via a personal blog post on the brand’s site on Tuesday. Kyle Leahy, who joined the company in 2021 as Chief Commercial Officer, will assume the role.
Weiss — who founded Glossier in 2014 as a spin-off of her beauty blog, Into the Gloss — will remain involved with the company as Executive Chairwoman, “working closely with Kyle and our board on stewarding Glossier into 2025, 2030 and beyond,” per the announcement.
“I’ve had the privilege of not just being Glossier’s founder since 2014, but also its CEO — two roles that have brought me into communion with tens, hundreds, millions of the most inspiring people inside our company and around the world,” Weiss wrote. “At the same time, I’ve always thought of these titles as unique from one another: A founder is a forever identity, one that starts with a kernel of an idea and never ends. I will always be Glossier’s founder. But a CEO is the champion that a company looks to, to lead it into tomorrow. From my observation, the greatest companies in the world understand this distinction and make sure that the CEO seat is always filled with the right person to take it where it needs to go for its brightest next chapter.”
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The news comes after a period of uncertainty for Glossier. After experiencing rapid growth and raking in ample investment in its fledgling years, the company struggled to keep up with that breakneck pace and maintain relevance. Its attempt to launch a spin-off brand called Glossier Play in 2019 didn’t take off (it was shuttered by February of 2020), and controversy struck when ex-Glossier employees went public with claims of internal racism and worker mistreatment in 2020. Last January, the company laid off more than 80 employees, which accounted for roughly one-third of its corporate workforce.
There’s a clear sense that the company has been undergoing a period of transition as it determines what its next chapter will look like. In April, Glossier explored a new avenue when it named Olivia Rodrigo its first-ever celebrity spokesperson, despite years of shying away from the traditional trappings of standard beauty marketing. Bringing in new leadership seems like a logical next step in this process.
“[Leahy] brings both a deep appreciation of the power of timeless consumer brands and the proven experience of leading large, dynamic organizations through transformational moments,” Weiss wrote of the incoming CEO. “From building omnichannel marketplace strategy at Nike, to leading the reinvention and acceleration of Cole Haan, to driving digital innovation at American Express, Kyle has spent her career setting strategy and aligning operational execution to build enterprise value and maximize brand potential. Her balance of art and science, coupled with her huge heart (the world needs empathetic leadership now more than ever), will enable us to continue to invest in the products and experiences that will change how the world sees beauty for years to come.”