Victoria’s Secret boss Leslie Wexner is to step down from his role at the brand as part of a major overhaul.
The U.S. lingerie label has taken a hit in recent years, with critics calling out executives for failing to promote inclusivity and diversity in the annual fashion shows.
In addition, Wexner has faced criticism relating to his friendship with disgraced former financial manager, Jeffrey Epstein, and following an expose published in The New York Times earlier this month, former chief marketing officer Ed Razek was accused of inappropriate conduct during his 36-year stint at the company, allegations he denied.
But on Thursday, Wexner announced he would be departing his positions of chief executive officer and chairman of the board of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret. The 82-year-old will remain a member of the board as Chairman Emeritus.
“Les Wexner is a retail legend who has built incredible brands that are household names around the globe. His leadership through this transition exemplifies his commitment to further growth of Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret and driving overall shareholder value,” said Allan Tessler, lead independent board director, in a statement.
Furthermore, leaders at the company have confirmed that they have made a deal to sell a 55 per cent stake in Victoria’s Secret to a private equity fund called Sycamore Partners.
After taking into account certain liabilities, Sycamore bosses will purchase a 55 per cent interest in Victoria’s Secret for approximately $525 million (£407 million), while L Brands will retain a 45 per cent stake.
“Sycamore, which has deep experience in the retail industry and a superior track record of success, will bring a fresh perspective and greater focus to the business,” added Wexner. “We believe that, as a private company, Victoria’s Secret will be better able to focus on longer-term results. We are pleased that, by retaining a significant ownership stake, our shareholders will have the ability to meaningfully participate in the upside potential of these iconic brands.”
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