Victoria’s Secret hires former Boots managing director as CEO

Victoria's Secret Martin Waters L Brands John Mehas
The appointments come as Victoria's Secret, which operates both the Victoria's Secret and Pink labels, works to rebuild itself
// Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands has announced a leadership reshuffle
// Martin Waters, previously L Brands’ head of the international division, will replace John Mehas as Victoria’s Secret CEO
// Waters had also served as managing director for health and beauty retailer Boots

Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands has announced a leadership reshuffle following a strenuous year for the lingerie retailer.

Martin Waters, who was previously the head of the international division at L Brands, will replace John Mehas as Victoria’s Secret chief executive with immediate effect.

He first joined L Brands in 2008, and under his leadership the international business has expanded to more than 700 stores globally.


Waters will report to Stuart Burgdoerfer, interim chief executive of Victoria’s Secret and chief financial officer of L Brands.

Prior to his role with L Brands, he served as managing director for health and beauty retailer Boots.

In addition, Laura Miller has been named chief human resources officer of Victoria’s Secret; Becky Behringer has been promoted to executive vice president of North America store sales and operations; and Janie Schaffer was named chief design officer of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie.

Miller most recently served as the chief human resources officer of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ltd. Previously, she served as chief human resources officer for ADT, as well as Coca Cola, and held a variety of HR roles at the Raytheon Company.

Behringer first joined Victoria’s Secret in 2002, and most recently served as senior vice president of store operations at Victoria’s Secret, where she oversaw the business’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schaffer previously served as lingerie and beauty director at Marks and Spencer. From 2008 to 2012, she served as head of design for Victoria’s Secret Lingerie.

Prior to joining Victoria’s Secret in 2008, Schaffer founded and then sold UK-based lingerie brand Knickerbox.

“The board and I are thrilled by the appointments of these talented leaders with demonstrated records of execution,” L Brands board of directors chairwoman Sarah Nash said.

“Martin Waters is an experienced retail executive who has led our international business for the past 12 years. He is an exceptional leader and is widely respected both within and outside of our business.

“Miller brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role of CHRO, combined with a passion for helping people reach their full potential.

“Behringer’s deep knowledge of our stores organization and the customer will help us deliver success as we approach the Holiday season and beyond.

Schaffer is a proven leader with a record of creating and re-positioning brands and growing profitable sales across international markets.”

The appointments come as Victoria’s Secret, which operates both the Victoria’s Secret and Pink labels, works to rebuild itself after suffering significant damage to its sales figures in recent months.

In February, L Brands announced its plan to sell a majority stake in its Victoria’s Secret brand to Sycamore Partners, an investment firm, for $525 million.

However, Sycamore later backed out of the deal in April, causing shares in L Brands to drop by 27 per cent.

After the deal fell through, L Brands announced in May that it would prepare to spin off Victoria’s Secret as a standalone company.

In September, fashion retailer Next acquired a majority stake in the Victoria’s Secret UK business, which saw it acquire the lingerie retailer under a newly formed joint venture.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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