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Cult Beauty co-founder Alexia Inge stands down

Lauretta Roberts
17 April 2022

Cult Beauty co-founder and Co-CEO Alexia Inge has stood down from the trailblazing online beauty retailer eight months after its acquisition by THG in a £275m deal.

The business was established in 2008 by entrepreneur Jessica DeLuca who was joined by former model, fashion writer and PR, Inge; the pair spearheaded online beauty retail in the UK, introducing loyal followers to cult independent brands and cult products from established brands that were otherwise not available online. Each product had to be tested by the team before being sold on the site, which was also known for successfully combining content and commerce.

It was placed up for sale last year and reportedly garnered interest from ASOS before being acquired by THG, which owns fellow online beauty sites including Glossybox and Lookfantastic. THG said Cult Beauty opened the group up to brands, such as Charlotte Tilbury and Drunk Elephant, that were not available elsewhere within its offer.

THG paid cash for the business buying it from Inge and majority shareholder investor Mark Quinn-Newall (who was a co-founder of Net-a-Porter) and pledged to allow Cult Beauty to retain a "very clear identity" within its portfolio, which also includes US online beauty retailer Dermstore. Before the acquisition Cult Beauty had its own distribution centre but has now been transitioned into THG's facilities.

In a message to staff Inge said she had been proud of how the business had become one of the most trusted beauty retailers in the world, having been started from an investment of £1.75 million, and thanked the team and its customers.

THG has had a bumpy ride, following a stock market float in London in September 2020 in which it was initially valued at £5.4 billion valuation, following concerns from investors over governance and the valuation of its e-commerce and logistics platform THG Ingenuity. It is currently valued at around £1.1 billion and CEO Matthew Moulding has pledged to make changes to the way the business is run.

In March it appointed Charles Allen, Lord Allen of Kensington CBE, as non-executive chair. Allen is a former CEO of ITV and Granada Group and has been a government adviser. He is also chair of Balfour Beatty and Global Media. He was appointed after THG agreed to split Moulding's dual CEO and Chairman role in a bid to improve governance.

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