Victoria’s Secret reshuffles executive ranks before holidays

Victoria’s Secret reshuffled its executive ranks Wednesday, including the position of CEO, as it tries to revive the struggling lingerie brand.

Martin Waters, who heads the company’s international division, will become CEO and replace John Mehas, who has held the position since early last year.

Janie Schaffer was named chief design officer of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie and Laura Miller, who has been with parent company L Brands, becomes chief human resources officer.

Schaffer had led the lingerie and beauty segments for Marks and Spencer, the British retailer. She was with Victoria’s Secret between 2008 and 2012 as head of lingerie design.

Becky Behringer was promoted to executive vice president of North America store sales and operations. She has overseen the chain’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Victoria’s Secret, which has seen business decline along with traffic in U.S. malls, is facing increased competition from Aerie, which is owned by American Eagle Outfitters. And there are also upstarts appearing online, such as Adore Me and ThirdLove.

There have been some signs of improvement recently. The company reported better-than-expected third-quarter results this month, including a 4% rise in comparable sales. Those sales include online sales.

L Brands expressed caution about the upcoming holiday season, noting limits on store traffic, constraints on shipping, and other uncertainties brought on by the pandemic.

Waters will report to Stuart Burgdoerfer, the interim CEO of L Brands.


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