Les Wexner, the 82-year-old billionaire behind Victoria’s Secret, may finally be ready to abandon his long-crumbling empire.
The chief exec of the lingerie label’s parent company, L Brands, is reportedly in talks to step down from his role as CEO and potentially sell the company, according to a Wednesday report from the Wall Street Journal.
Wexner has been at the helm of the company since its founding back in 1963. Once a dominant force in the U.S. lingerie market, Victoria’s Secret has struggled from a variety of setbacks in recent years, including declining sales, the cancellation of its once iconic televised fashion show, accusations of transphobia against the brand’s former president and chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, as well as well as waning interest and increasing criticism of the brand’s lack of diversity and size-representation among its models and products as consumers have embraced more inclusive brands.
Also not helping matters? Wexner’s ties to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in jail last summer while facing child sex-trafficking charges. Epstein oversaw Wexner’s personal investments and reportedly tried to have a hand in the model selection process for the brand. Wexner has denied knowledge of Epstein’s criminal behavior and claims to have ended the friendship a decade prior to Epstein’s death.
“I know now that my trust in him was grossly misplaced, and I deeply regret having ever crossed his path,” Wexner wrote in a letter to members of his Wexner Foundation shortly before Epstein’s death in August.
Wexner is reportedly “exploring strategic alternatives for the lingerie brand,” and while the Journal noted the aging billionaire could stay on as chairman, it seems the brand’s execs are finally getting ready to put Victoria’s Secret out of its misery. Maybe Rihanna would be willing to be help?
Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.
Thanks for reading InsideHook. Sign up for our daily newsletter and be in the know.