Investigation of L Brands, Inc.

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L Brands, Inc. (LB) Announces Sale of its Lingerie Segment Amid Sexual Harassment Scrutiny

For decades, one of L Brands’ top executives has been the subject of repeated complaints about inappropriate conduct directed towards Victoria’s Secret-a segment of L Brands-models. Executives said they had alerted Leslie Wexner, founder and chief executive of L Brands, about the behavior; however, individuals that came forward were often met with retaliation. According to one employee, “this abuse was just laughed off and accepted as normal…anyone who tried to do anything about it wasn’t just ignored. They were punished.” In addition to its issues with sexual harassment, Victoria’s Secret announced in November 2019 that it was canceling its annual fashion show in response to mounting public criticism about its lack of inclusivity. In recent years, Victoria’s Secret sales have continued to decline, forcing the company to close 108 of its stores as of February 2019 and causing L Brands shares to plummet almost more than 75% from their peak in 2015. As a result of this decline, on February 19, 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that L Brands is expected to soon sell Victoria’s Secret to a private-equity company in a $1.1 billion deal and Wexner is expected to step down as L Brands’ CEO and chairman.

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