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L Brands Names New CEO at Victoria’s Secret

Victoria Secret store, Denver.
Victoria Secret store in Denver. Shutterstock. (Shutterstock)

Martin Waters, who currently leads the troubled brand’s lingerie division, has been promoted to CEO of business as a whole. He will take over from L Brand CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer who has served as interim chief executive at Victoria’s Secret for the past nine months.

Burgdoerfer will retire this summer, the retailer announced Thursday, February 4. Waters, who joined the company in 2008 as head of the international division, will assume his new role effective immediately.

L Brands said it expects the separation of Victoria’s Secret from Bath & Body Works to be completed in August. “All options, including a spin-off of the Victoria’s Secret business into a public company or a private sale of the business, are being evaluated,” L Brands said in a statement.

L Brands had agreed to sell Victoria’s Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners in early 2020, but the deal fell through in the wake of the pandemic. With Sycamore out of the picture, the company said last May that it would still go forward with plans to separate its two entities and establish Bath & Body Works as a stand-alone public company.

As part of the announcement Thursday, L Brands also raised its fourth quarter earnings guidance and forecasted a comparable sales increase of 10 percent — a 22 percent increase at Bath & Body Works and a 3 percent decrease at Victoria’s Secret.

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