Executive Bios

James Whatley

Date Joined Mary Kay:
June 29, 1998

As Chief Information Officer (CIO), James oversees Mary Kay systems for both Mary Kay’s independent beauty consultants and employees globally. 

Prior to joining the Executive Team as CIO in January of 2023, James was instrumental in designing systems that ensure an Independent Beauty Consultant can run her business anytime, anywhere. As one of the largest direct sellers in the world, Mary Kay processes millions of orders through its commerce site empowering millions of independent sales force members to achieve their goals.

When he joined Mary Kay in 1998, James immediately initiated building cutting-edge Independent Beauty Consultant systems which eventually led to a book deal, co-authoring Building e-Commerce Site with the .NET Framework. From there, James led the development and support of Mary Kay’s global consumer and Independent Consultant applications, including e-commerce and consumer-facing applications like MaryKay.com, Mary Kay InTouch (an internal portal used by Mary Kay’s independent sales force), and Personal Web Sites. 

As a change champion, James has been instrumental in transforming a home-grown IT Application/Infrastructure to a “cloud first“ strategy allowing Mary Kay’s IT systems to be safer, more efficient, and innovative. In addition to Independent Beauty Consultant systems, his team also supports the systems that make, move, and sell Mary Kay® products. Most notably, he led the establishment of a key partnership with Salesforce.com, which is transforming how Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants serve their customers and more efficiently run their businesses. James also serves on several Customer Advisory Boards for Salesforce.com, which seek to provide solutions on how to better serve their customers. 

James is motivated first and foremost by finding solutions for the Mary Kay independent sales force while at the same time creating environments that foster teamwork and trust and strong partnerships amongst the company’s global partners in more than 35 markets around the world. 

James holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of New Orleans. Before joining Mary Kay, he worked at Software Spectrum and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in software development and consulting roles. James is a graduate of Mary Kay’s rigorous leadership program, Legacy Leadership, in which he showcased his strategic skills and technological expertise and propelled him to the position of Vice-President of Digital Business Solutions and now to the Chief Information Officer. 

James and his wife Jenna live in North Dallas and have two adult children – James and Julia.


In today’s fast-changing, highly competitive world, standing still is the same thing as moving backward. If you don’t go forward, others will zoom right past you.”