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Wexners Stepping Down From L Brands Board

Les Wexner
Jay LaPrete

Columbus-based L Brands says founder Les Wexner and his wife Abigail Wexner are stepping down from their positions on the company's board of directors.

The announcement says the Wexners will not stand for reelection to the board in May. This comes nearly 60 years after Les founded the company and built it into a worldwide specialty retailer.

“I am more confident than ever that we have very positive momentum as we approach the planned separation into two businesses," Wexner said in an emailed statement.

L Brands tried to sell off its best-known subsidiary Victoria's Secret last year, but the deal fell apart because of COVID-related store closures. Around the same time, Wexner announced he planned to step down from his CEO role.

Company sales had dropped in recent years, and reports surfaced regarding Wexner's previous ties to accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Wexner has denied any knowledge of Epstein's crimes.

Two women are replacing the Wexners: Francis Hondal, president of loyalty and engagement at Mastercard, and Danielle Lee, chief fan officer for the National Basketball Association.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.