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Victoria’s Secret appoints new CEO to lead a turnaround

Following the sales slump and controversies stirred up by CMO Ed Razek, Victoria’s Secret has announced the appointment of John Mehas as the new lingerie CEO, hoping to make a turnaround.

According to a statement accompanying Victoria’s Secret’s parent company L Brands’ third-quarter earnings report, Mehas will replace Jan Singer in the New Year, who resigned amid the storm of declining financial performance of the company, and public relations crisis caused by CMO Ed Razek over idealised glamazonian femininity and reluctance to put larger and transgender models on the catwalk.

Mehas is currently serving as president of Tory Burch. Previously he led Club Monaco, a Polo Ralph Lauren brand, for 13 years as president and CEO. “John is an outstanding retail merchant and we could not be more excited for him to lead Victoria’s Secret Lingerie to a new phase of success,” said Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and CEO of L Brands, in the statement.

Wexner added: “Our number one priority is improving performance at Victoria’s Secret Lingerie and PINK. In doing so, our new leaders are coming in with a fresh perspective and looking at everything … our marketing, brand positioning, internal talent, real estate portfolio and cost structure. Most importantly, we are focused on our merchandise assortment.”

L Brands reported third-quarter results with a net loss of US$42.8 million compared to net income of US$86 million last year. The company has already made a major decision before Mehas on board – swimwear line will be back by spring 2019, said Stuart Burgdoerfer, CFO of L Brands, in a call with investors on Tuesday morning.

The popular swimwear line was discontinued back in 2016. Burgdoerfer said that the relaunch is based on customers’ feedbacks. He added that there are plans to sell eyewear and Ugg products through licensing agreements.

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