Kendra Scott Hands Reigns to New CEO: ‘I Trust Him Implicitly’
“A part of me always knew the day would come,” the jewelry designer and entrepreneur tells Tribeza
By Aaron Parsley
Photographs courtesy of Kendra Scott
Kendra Scott is passing the baton.
A designer and entrepreneur who began a jewelry business out of her home in 2002 and turned it into a billion-dollar company with more than 2,000 employees, Scott announced Monday that she is stepping down as CEO of her namesake brand.
Tom Nolan, president of Kendra Scott since 2019, has been promoted to the top position, taking the helm of the jewelry company that emphasizes giving back as part of its brand mission.
“Tom is one of my dearest friends and I trust him implicitly,” Scott tells Tribeza exclusively. “I know he’ll care for this business just as I would. We will continue to lead together in partnership, and I look forward to all that is to come.”
Scott, who recently opened up to Tribeza about personal and professional challenges she faced in 2020, remains deeply involved at the company as the executive chairwoman while Nolan takes over as CEO. She will oversee design, customer experience and philanthropy. Scott also remains majority owner.
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The news of Nolan’s promotion and Scott’s evolving role was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman.
“A part of me always knew the day would come when I was ready to hand the job over to a trusted partner and allow myself to dream into bigger brand projects and new opportunities,” Scott says. “Tom is the perfect fit for the role because not only has he been a dear friend and partner to me over the past seven years, he also leads with his heart, just as I have from the start of this business. I am confident that together we will continue to push our brand forward, serve our customers and continue to positively impact people’s lives every day.”
In her recent interview with Tribeza, Scott also shared that she “went through a lot” at home and at work as she juggled family life and operating her business during a pandemic. “While I look back at 2020 as a year of a lot of difficulty, I also see a lot of amazing, happy moments and clarity around a lot of things,” Scott said.
That clarity helped Scott in the decision to name a new CEO.
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“I’ve been telling my team that 2020 gave us clear vision, to see both the good and the bad, and a clear path forward. After one of the most difficult years, not just for our business but for the world, I saw the opportunity to recognize Tom Nolan for his incredible work and leadership of our company,” Scott tells Tribeza.
Since joining the Kendra Scott team, Nolan played an integral part in opening the flagship store on South Congress in Austin and in the launch of the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at UT, where Scott is a Professor of Practice.
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In her new role at her company, Scott says she plans to do even more in the community and for the dynamic brand that she created as Nolan steps into the role she held for so long.
“By passing the baton to him as CEO,” she says, “I will begin to focus on bigger projects and philanthropic initiatives and continue to propel the company forward.”