Versed, the skin care brand founded by Katherine Power, has named a new chief executive officer.
Kerry Sullivan, who spent much of her career as the general manager of Neutrogena, is helming the brand. It comes at a time of increased momentum for Versed, which was said to top $40 million in sales last year, per industry sources.
Neither Power nor Sullivan commented on sales, but both noted the brand’s high momentum, especially given its young age. The consumers are mostly Millennial across retail channels, and Versed is a top 10 skin care brand at Target, the company said.
“Versed is on fire right now,” Power said. “We’ve had an incredible few years…what I’ve been most pleased about is how the velocity has been driven by the results the products offer.”
Upon its launch, Versed was a pioneer of affordable “clean” beauty, touting prestige-quality formulas in the mass-priced channel. The products haven’t just captured sales, they’re also gaining steam online. “We had a couple of products go viral on TikTok — the Doctor’s Visit Resurfacing Mask — and we are just starting to be known as a results-based skin care brand,” Power said.
Versed also entered Walmart in February of 2022, a move that has paid off well. “You’re always a bit nervous about keeping the business booming in your main account. We were exclusive to Target for two-and-a-half years,” Power said. “But the velocity has only increased and gotten better there. We go deep and narrow with one partner at a time, and it’s paid off.”
Power has served as CEO since the brand’s inception, but stepping back was always part of the plan. “I had always planned to bring in a full-time CEO for the business once we got to a certain size to help scale it,” she said. “We believe this is a billion-dollar revenue brand, if not more, and we truly believe this can be an iconic mass drugstore brand.”
Taking the brand to that level is Sullivan’s plan, and she’s focusing on product assortment strategy, retail and geographic expansion to do it.
Sullivan spent several years in Asia, which is a long-term priority for Versed. “We aren’t going to go in too quickly, but we are planning the strategy. So much of the potential in the business is in Asia…the key is getting the strategy right,” Power said. “There is certainly a playbook, but I want to do it right. If there is a bigger and better way of doing it, I want that for Versed, and Kerry truly understands how to do it.”
“I’ve worked with so many different-sized brands, brands that reach so many demographics, so many other brands across companies and cultures,” Sullivan said. “The commonalities [of successful brands] are those that build outsized loyalty, both immediately and over time, and how do you foster that for a newer brand like Versed? The community that fuels it is the secret sauce, that’s the indicator of an enduring loyalty potential. I build brands that people come back to time and time again because they know they can trust it.”
Power also believes the brand’s consumer base can span generations, and Sullivan’s key focus is to fuel brand enthusiasm — internally and externally. “I’m so impressed with how meaningful the community is for this brand and how committed our community is,” she said. “My first focus is to fuel that momentum and that culture, and that will translate to the business and our community.”