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Profile: Sundial Brands CEO Richelieu Dennis

Richelieu Dennis discusses the decision to acquire Essence and more in this 2019 interview. On June 30, 2020, he resigned as CEO of Essence magazine following allegations of a toxic work culture. The magazine’s publisher announced an independent investigation of harassment, discrimination, retaliation and other behaviors that may have impacted Essence magazine employees.

AIRED: 4/16/2019 | 00:01:16
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We''re just getting it started.

We''re just getting it started.

Rich Dennis is young.

He took a small Black company that sold primarily to Black people and Shea Moisture started on the streets built it up into a real company, sold it to a white company, but turned around and used that wealth to acquire Essence.

The decision around Essence was one that was very, very easy and very clear: If we don't control our narrative, and if we don't own our culture, then others will own it.

If you sort of follow what we've been doing over the past 27 years, it's always been about investing back in Black women they're the ones who built our brands, they're the ones who drive our market.

And our vision was quite simply to serve women, Black women, in ways that other brands weren''t.