Global C-Level Executive & Board Director
As an award-winning retail executive and a key architect of the most successful retail brand launch in history (Victoria's Secret PINK), Richard Dent is an inspiring leader with more than 15 years of experience with iconic brands such as Ford, Volvo, and Bath & Body Works.
Currently Richard serves as the CEO of Astor & Black Custom Clothier, a private equity backed, men’s and women’s direct to consumer, custom, fashion retail business located in Greater Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Lending fresh direction to their retail vision, he fortified revenue 32% in just 6months through build-out of a talented and highly experienced leadership team.
Richard was promoted to PINK CFO in 2005, and quickly elevated to co-lead this then-emergent lifestyle apparel brand. He was later promoted to COO and SVP in 2009. In these seminal roles, he co-built the brand strategy, infrastructure, financial architecture, and organization underpinning the fastest-growing brand in Limited history.
Richard served as Director of Finance – Corporate Finance with Bath & Body Works before he was tapped to architect and lead the Limited's first strategic planning function at the division level as Director of Strategic Planning – Bath & Body Works. His commercialization assortment gate process enabled top-line analysis and led directly to his next role as VP of Strategic Planning – Bath & Body Works. Richard enhanced weeks of supply by rolling out the division's first inventory management discipline. He also guided the hugely successful Bath & Body Works Outlet Stores launch as Outlet General Manager.
In 1998, Richard joined Volvo Trucks as US Controller – Sales & Marketing. As de facto CFO, he led $2.5B in revenue and drove a 4-fold strategy that resulted in a 110-point boost in YOY gross profits. Richard improved bottom-line margin 1.9% and steered development of a break-out business plan that set the stage for organizational restructuring.
His finance career has its roots in his early tenure with Ford, where he gained his "inside out" operational focus by completing a leadership development rotation through hands-on roles that exposed him to every facet of the automotive business. He was ultimately promoted to Finance Manager before his recruitment to Volvo.
In addition to his corporate achievements, Richard Dent has a record of stellar contributions to organizational excellence in board roles. He served as Vice Chair of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees and was appointed Chair of the board's Budget & Finance Committee. Instrumental in leading the board's response to senior leadership challenges at the university, he helped produce its first unqualified audit in 3 years and paved the way for zero audit findings in the subsequent 4 years of his board tenure (2007 – 2012).
He championed, architected, and led a university-wide, corporate-style restructuring, enabling the institution to survive a $40M funding cut, trim $64M from their budget, and revitalize core programs at the same time. Richard also implemented a performance measurement and presidential accountability process for the university.
Richard serves as Chair of the Expanding Visions Foundation Board of Directors – a role that allows him to express his passion for mentoring youth. As a C-Level Consultant with the New Era Cap Company, he strategized the rollout of a retail store strategy for this $500B hat wholesaler.
Richard earned his MBA and his BS in What from Florida A&M University. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and the National Black MBA Association. With a history of driving double-digit sales and profitability, Richard Dent is poised to contribute deep retail and operations insight in his next corporate board role.