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Regis Corporation’s (RGS - Analyst Report) search for a competent and permanent chief executive officer (CEO) has finally come to an end. Yesterday, the company announced the hiring of Daniel Hanrahan as its president, CEO and a board member. Hanrahan will bow out from similar posts at Celebrity Cruises of the United States’ second largest cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL - Analyst Report), to assume his new responsibility on August 6, 2012. At Regis, Hanrahan will replace the interim CEO Eric A. Bakken since June 30, 2012.

The management churn comes in the wake of the resignation of Randy L. Pearce from the position of president. Pearce, who divulged his intent to retire in January 2012 after serving Regis for 27 years, was supposed to become the CEO of the company in February with the retirement of Paul Finkelstein. Since then, Regis was on an extensive lookout for a suitable successor.

Hanrahan’s career graph is dotted with many important roles. Since 2005, he served Celebrity Cruises as president and CEO Officer and piloted guest experience enhancement and brand repositioning. He also served as senior vice president, Marketing and Sales at Royal Caribbean International from 1999 to 2005. Under his leadership, Celebrity Cruises scaled a new height in terms of cruising experience.

Prior to joining Royal Caribbean, Hanrahan held several operational and managerial positions at big names like Polaroid Corporation (two years), at Reebok International Ltd. (nine years) and at Nestle Food Corporation (four years). At Reebok and Nestle Food, he played pivotal roles in brand building and marketing strategy making.  

Edina-based Regis has been struggling for quite sometime with a slow traffic count, which remains a drag on its same-store sales. So, the role of a CEO will be crucial as the company needs proper brand re-invigoration and sales strategies to drive traffic.

Considering the vast know-how about brand repositioning as well as prior experience as CEO with a world-class leisure company and alliance with retail behemoths, we believe Hanrahan will likely provide meaningful support to Regis’ turnaround initiative in the coming quarters.

Regis which competes with Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (ULTA - Snapshot Report) retains a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock.
 

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