Retail billionaire Leslie Wexner rumoured to quit L Brands after 57 years

By Becky Bargh 30-Jan-2020

The company’s portfolio includes Bath & Body Works and lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret

Leslie Wexner (left) with Ed Razek (right) // Image: via Getty Images

The longtime CEO and founder of the company behind Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret is reportedly in talks to step down after 57 years at the helm.

According to the Wall Street Journal, billionaire businessman Leslie Wexner, who founded L Brands in 1963 as Limited Brands, will leave his retail empire as strategic discussions of the lingerie brand’s future continue.

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners is reported to have approached the company to discuss a full or partial sale of Victoria’s Secret.

In 2019, L Brands said it would close 53 Victoria’s Secret US stores by the end of the year – representing around 4% of its footprint.

As well as his success with L Brands, Wexner is responsible for building fashion companies Abercrombie & Fitch and The Limited into national chains after establishing Bath and Body works in 1990.

The announcement comes amid a downturn in the company’s sales compared with last year’s results.

L Brands reported a 2% decrease in net sales of US$12.1bn for the 48 weeks ended 4 January.

The company has also lowered its expected fourth quarter earnings per share to $1.85 from $2.

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L Brands said it "would not comment on such rumours".

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