By Michelle Graff
Kendra Scott President Tom Nolan has been named CEO of the accessories company, effective immediately. He takes over for the company’s namesake, Kendra Scott, who launched her business in 2002 and has been CEO ever since.
Austin, Texas—After nearly 20 years leading the accessories company she started, Kendra Scott is taking a step back.

Scott’s eponymous company announced via a news release Monday that she is stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by company President Tom Nolan, effective immediately.

She will remain the company’s executive chairman and its majority owner, guiding design, customer experience and philanthropy.

Scott started her company in 2002, three months after the birth of her son and with $500 to invest.

2021 Kendra ScottKendra ScottShe has been its sole CEO since, growing the Austin, Texas-based startup into an accessories powerhouse with more than 110 standalone stores and 2,000 employees worldwide.

The brand is also sold in Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, as well as in 600 specialty boutiques worldwide and online.

Scott has been the subject of numerous how-she-built-it business profiles over the years and is a professor of practice at the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at the University of Texas in Austin, which she founded.

She also is one of the richest self-made women in America, according to Forbes, with the 46-year-old ranking No. 47 on the magazine’s 2020 list.

Forbes puts her estimated net worth at $510 million.

Kendra Scott’s new CEO, Nolan, joined the company’s board in 2014 and became its chief revenue and marketing officer in 2016.

He was promoted to president in 2019 and worked on omnichannel and expanding the brand’s retail footprint as well as its wholesale distribution.

He also worked alongside Scott on opening a flagship store in Austin in 2018, the 2017 investment by Berkshire Partners that valued the company at $1 billion, and the opening of the women’s leadership institute at the University of Texas.

Prior to joining Kendra Scott, Nolan held executive positions at Ralph Lauren, Condé Nast and was the founder and CEO of Prospect Brands.

In the release, Scott called Nolan “an incredible thought partner” and a “wonderful steward of the brand.”

“During this extraordinary time of retail transformation, there has been no better person to partner with me on building the brand and the business,” Scott said. “Tom is an experienced executive with a relentless focus on the customer, operational rigor, and strong expertise in digital transformation.

“With Tom at my side as CEO, I can continue to focus on what I have always seen as the core of the brand—great design, strong philanthropic impact and a continued commitment to our customer.”

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