L Brands’ Half Century Man
Although you may not be familiar with the company L Brands, you are certainly familiar with its brands: Victoria’s Secret, Pink, La Senza, Bath & Body Works, and Henri Bendel. FORTUNE magazine recently published an article highlighting the company’s CEO and his long tenure in the apparel specialty industry.
L Brands Chairman and CEO, Leslie Wexner, has been in charge for more than 52 years making him the longest-serving CEO at a Fortune 500 company. A fact that is especially surprising to see in the ever-changing apparel industry. Mr. Wexner has a long history of retail leadership. He launched new brands and acquired promising concepts. He is also known for his good business decisions and innovative thinking.
FORTUNE magazine stated “Not only is he the longest serving executive in the Fortune 500, but during his tenure his company has seen nearly unparalleled success.” Mr. Wexner first entered retail in 1963 with a store with limited inventory. He called it The Limited. Soon discovering that specialty stores appealed to female shoppers, Mr. Wexner started to expand his business portfolio through both invention and acquisition. In the 1980’s, under the leadership of Mr. Wexner the company began to strategically acquire retail stores. Then in the late 1990’s the company began to strategically let them go. Previous brands that were spun off include Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, Lane Bryant, and The Limited.
When asked if he plans to quit anytime soon, he said he is too entertained by customers to retire. “You never figure out what interests them; they’re always changing,” he told FORTUNE.