Richard A. Johnson Retires as President and CEO of Foot Locker

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(Lead image by Joshua Scott for Footwear News)

After three decades with Foot Locker, Richard A. Johnson will be retiring from the company as President and CEO. Foot Locker has appointed Mary N. Dillion — former CEO of Ulta Beauty — as the new President and CEO. She will also serve as a member of the Foot Locker Board. This change will go into effect on September 1, 2022.

Johnson has been with Foot Locker, Inc. since 1993. At the beginning of his career, he focused on Eastbay operations before becoming the President and CEO of, as well as the Vice President of Merchandising at Eastbay.

Since 2014, Johnson has served as Foot Locker’s CEO, following two years as Chief Operating Officer. Throughout his time at the company he has held multiple other divisional leadership roles, which helped lead to the company’s development of strategic operations and long-term plan.

Alongside Johnson’s discretion of investments and acquisitions, he oversaw sales growth to approximately $9 billion in 2021, from approximately $7 billion in 2014. Johnson was at the forefront on Foot Locker’s acquisitions of both WSS and atmos in 2021. Through the company’s imperatives, Johnson guided Foot Locker’s digital transformation and strategy to continue the company’s global expansion, as well as diversifying Foot Locker’s brands and products.

Johnson will officially step down as Executive Chairman of the Board on January 31, 2023. However, in order to facilitate a smooth transition, Johnson will remain with Foot Locker as a Senior Advisor to the new CEO — Mary N. Dillion — until early April 2023.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to lead Foot Locker and work alongside the best team in retail for nearly 30 years,” said Johnson. “Together, we have built a broad house of brands and banners fueled by a shared passion for the global sneaker community. We have turned a brick-and-mortar company into an interactive retail community poised for long-term growth in the digital era. The Board and I have worked closely together on a thoughtful succession plan, and with a strong foundation in place and ongoing momentum against our strategic objectives, we believe now is the right time to complete the CEO transition. We are confident that Mary is the ideal person to serve as Foot Locker’s next CEO and lead the Company forward. Mary has established a remarkable track record in the retail industry, and she brings an incredible mix of talent, experience and commitment to take Foot Locker to the next level.”

While Ulta Beauty may seem striking different from Foot Locker, Dillion boasts an impressive resume that flaunts major titles with Fortune 500 companies such as PepsiCo and McDonald’s. With her experience as Global Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of the aforementioned corporations, Dillion leaves no doubt that her know-how will provide Foot Locker with opportunities for advancement.

“I am thrilled to be joining Foot Locker, an iconic company that possesses a strong set of values and focus on the customer experience as well as tremendous growth opportunities,” said Dillion. “It is clear how Foot Locker sits at the heart of the global sport and sneaker community, and I am excited to become part of the Company’s team. I look forward to working closely with Dick to ensure a smooth transition, and to partnering with the Board, leadership team and nearly 50,000 team members around the world to build on Foot Locker’s strong foundation and help shape the Company’s future.”

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