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Report: Wexner Considering Stepping Down From L Brands

Leslie Wexner receives the Woodrow Wilson Award in July 2008.
Wikimedia Commons

Columbus billionaire Les Wexner is reportedly in talks to step down from his role as Chief Executive Officer at L Brands, a position he’s held for more than 50 years.The Wall Street Journal reports the retail mogul is also considering a possible full or partial sale of Victoria’s Secret. Under Wexner’s watch, the brand became the best-known lingerie company in the world with sales of $7 billion a year.

Those sales have slumped in recent years amid changing consumer demands. Last year, Victoria's Secret laid off 15% of its corporate office employees as part of a restructuring.

A L Brands spokesperson responded to an email seeking comment Wednesday morning by writing "We would not comment on such rumors."

Wexner has faced increasing calls to step down because of his work at L Brands, and for his connection to accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, who died last year, was a long-time financial adviser to Wexner, who has repeatedly said he never knew about Epstein’s alleged crimes.

Wexner opened his first store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in 1963. He’s a 1959 graduate of Ohio State University.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.