Revolution Beauty names new CEO as beleaguered brand plots turnaround

Revolution Beauty names Bob Holt as CEO as beleaguered make-up brand plots turnaround after auditing probe

  • Bob Holt OBE has been acting as the firm’s interim COO since mid-October 
  • It’s hoped that he will help turn things around for the beleaguered brand
  • Adam Minto who founded the company in 2014 quit earlier this month over issues that have emerged since last summer’s stock market listing

Revolution Beauty appointed Bob Holt OBE as its new CEO, replacing Adam Minto after his sudden exit earlier this month. 

Minto, who founded the company in 2014, quit over issues that emerged after Revolution Beauty’s stock market listing last summer.  

Holt has been acting as the firm’s interim chief operating officer since mid-October and it’s hoped that he will help turn things around for the beleaguered make-up brand.

Revolution Beauty has announced the appointment of Bob Holt OBE as its new CEO following the sudden exit of Adam Minto

On news of his appointment, Holt said: ‘Over the past six weeks I have seen first-hand the quality of people working at Revolution Beauty, the overall popularity of the brand and innovation of products for customers around the world. 

‘I believe there is a huge opportunity for the business as it moves ahead and I am confident that, together with the team, we will drive the business forward.’ 

The e-commerce company says that the inquiry into the group’s accounts, which is being carried out by Forensic Risk Alliance and corporate law firm Macfarlanes, is still underway and no conclusions have been drawn.

Holt currently serves as chair of the healthcare services business Totally and Bristol-based engineering company Cosgrove & Drew, and formerly held the same position for 23 years at Mears Group.

Over his tenure at Mears, Holt built the housing and social care provider from a little-known contractor with 83 employees to one with turnover surpassing £900million and over 12,000 staff on its books.

Former Revolution Beauty boss Adam Minto with singer Alexandra Burke

Former Revolution Beauty boss Adam Minto with singer Alexandra Burke

Revolution told investors on Monday that the board believes he is the right person to drive the business forward.

An examination was launched into the company’s auditing practices following a number of ‘serious concerns’ raised by the accountancy firm BDO.

These included issues regarding the retailer’s ability to provide ‘sufficient and accurate audit evidence’ in some areas, and the validity of particular commercial arrangements.

BDO recommended the appointment of external parties to conduct a review, while Revolution also set up an ‘investigation committee,’ led by director Derek Zissman and finance boss Elizabeth Lake, to assist the independent advisers. 

No definitive timeline has been given for the probe, but Revolution stated that an update will be released to the market ‘in due course’.

While that is ongoing, its shares remain suspended from the London Stock Exchange, having already plunged in value since listing in the summer of last year.

Founded in 2014, the Kent-based retailer sells hair, skincare and makeup products across over 100 countries, including in Superdrug, ASOS and Boots stores in the UK. 

The group prides itself on offering ‘cruelty-free’ products, meaning they are not tested on animals during the development stage, and on using upcycled ingredients.

In a full-year trading update published in May, Revolution said its sales had climbed by 42 per cent to around £194million for the 12 months to February, while adjusted underlying earnings had grown to £22million.

But since then, the firm has reported trade struggling amidst a worsening economic backdrop and challenges resulting from the loosening of lockdown restrictions.