Victoria’s Secret billionaire Les Wexner is on track to sell $1.2 billion of company stock this year as he retreats from the lingerie business

Les Wexner
Les Wexner.

  • Les Wexner is on track to sell $1.2 billion of Victoria’s Secret stock this year.
  • This leaves the Wexner family with around a 10% stake in the business.
  • Wexner stepped down as CEO in 2020 shortly after controversy over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Les Wexner, the billionaire businessman behind Victoria’s Secret, is on track to sell $1.2 billion worth of company stock this year.

Wexner, who stepped down as CEO of its parent company L Brands in February 2020 and from its board in March, has been selling large chunks of stock over the past few months – most recently, $745 million-worth.

Wexner and his wife Abigail are among the company’s largest shareholders. According to Bloomberg, this latest sale would leave them with around a 10% stake in the company.

Up until he stepped down last year, Wexner was the longest-serving CEO of any Fortune 500 company. He was credited with transforming Victoria’s Secret into a global powerhouse.

Read more: POWER PLAYERS: Meet the 8 Victoria’s Secret executives helping the company shake off years of scandal and slumping sales

Toward the end of his tenure, Wall Street grew critical of his leadership as sales had slowed and critics said Victoria’s Secret’s brand image was out-of-date.

Activist shareholder Barington Capital wrote a public letter to Wexner in 2019 urging him to address the brand image issues and switch up its predominantly male board of directors.

Wexner stepped down as CEO and chairman the company 2020. At the time, his relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein had come under intense scrutiny. Epstein managed Wexner’s money and the two were close friends for several years.

“At some point in your life we are all betrayed by friends,” Wexner said in a statement at the time. “Being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so depraved, is something that I’m embarrassed I was even close to.”

Victoria’s Secret is currently in the midst of a major turnaround effort under new leadership.

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