(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). John Mehas, was named the new CEO of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, replacing Jan Singer who resigned in mid November. He is currently the president of Tory Burch and will start in “early 2019.”
Les Wexner, the chairman of L Brands, parent to Victoria’s Secret, declared “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.” In its announcement, the company pointed to Mehas’ experience which including leadership at “Club Monaco, a Polo Ralph Lauren brand, for 13 years as president and CEO. Mehas gained his early retail and merchandising experience at The Gap and Bloomingdales.”
The Mehas announcement came as L Brands reported its first quarterly loss in over a decade, much of it due to “an approximate pretax non-cash impairment charge of $80 million related to certain Victoria’s Secret store assets.” In the conference call to discuss the third quarter, Brian Tunick, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, questioned Stuart Burgdoerfer, L Brands’ EVP and CFO, about the appointment: “Stuart, curious maybe if you can share with us a little, maybe the Board’s thinking about what John brings to the table? Obviously Jan from Spanx and Nike, just maybe give us a sense of what John brings to the table? Why he’s the right guy now given all these changes?”
Burgdoerfer replied “You know how important the merchant leadership is in these businesses. It’s just so critical,” continuing, “as to John specifically, he is a very accomplished retail leader. He’s got a very strong reputation with those that he’s worked with most closely. He’s worked in some of the most successful and with the most successful retail leaders in the industry and in periods of time whether it was at the Gap or at Ralph Lauren, periods of time where those businesses had very strong results in their hay days, if you will. He has served female customers for meaningful and substantial parts of his career. John’s got very strong business acumen. He’s got a lot of substance. He’s been involved in and led turnaround and high growth situations. And in summary, Brian, we’re very pleased that John will be joining the business.”
A full transcript of the conference call can be found here: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4223649-l-brands-inc-lb-q3-2018-results-earnings-call-transcript?page=1. — NM
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