Victoria’s Secret Appoints a New CEO—and Is Relaunching a Major Category

The return of Victoria's Secret Swim is near

John Mehas is joining Victoria's Secret from Tory Burch, where he serves as president. Getty Images
Headshot of Diana Pearl

Changes are coming at Victoria’s Secret.

The lingerie retailer, which has been in the news over the past weeks following a controversial interview CMO Ed Razek gave to Vogue earlier this month, timed to this year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show, made two major announcements this week.

The first is the appointment of a new CEO, John Mehas, the current president of Tory Burch, to replace outgoing CEO Jan Singer, whose departure was first reported last week. Leslie H. Wexner, the CEO of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands, said that the company’s top priority will be improving sales for its PINK and lingerie divisions, the latter of which Mehas will be leading.

“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 Wexner in a statement alongside the company’s third-quarter earnings report. “I am confident that, under John’s leadership, Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, the world’s leading lingerie brand, will continue to be a powerhouse and will deliver products and experiences that resonate with women around the globe.”

The second change arriving is that the brand will be relaunching its swimwear line, which it discontinued back at the end of 2016. Then, the closure of the swimwear line was a surprising move, and sales declined as a result. Now, two years later, it’s set to make its return in the spring of next year. There are also licensing agreements in the works to sell items like UGG products and eyewear.

Victoria’s Secret’s sales have suffered in recent years, and that didn’t change in the third quarter of 2018: It missed its third-quarter revenues, and its parent company, L Brands, was down 45 percent this year.  The hope seems to be that a new leader at the top of Victoria’s Secret, as well as product diversification, will help to ramp up the brand again.

“Our new leaders are coming in with a fresh perspective and looking at everything,” said Wexner. “Our marketing, brand positioning, internal talent, real estate portfolio and cost structure.”

@dianapearl_ Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.