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The Future of Victoria's Secret Lies in the Hands of These Six Women

Bessie LiuOrg Charts
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Victoria's Secret is separating from L Brands, inviting a new board of directors to run the show. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.

Victoria's Secret's brand has long been defined by a man's vision, but recently the lingerie company has been working hard to change that.

In May this year, L Brands announced it would be separating from its Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret businesses, and a new board of directors would be composed for the standalone companies.

Victoria's Secret’s new board will consist of seven directors, six of whom are women, that will be responsible for shaping the company's future.

Victoria's Secret

The big boss

Heading the board as Victoria's Secret's new Chairman is Donna James, the Managing Director of business advisory firm Lardon & Associates. James had a 25-year career with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, where she most recently served as the President of Strategic Investments. From 2010 to 2013, James was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Chairwoman of the National Women's Business Council. An accounting graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, James has also served as an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand.

"I am honored to lead the new Victoria's Secret Board following the separation and look forward to serving alongside such talented individuals," James said in a statement. "I am confident that this group of directors brings the right combination of experience and expertise to help steer the continued transformation and growth of this iconic brand."

Donna James 10222020 Biz wire

Donna James. Image source: Business Wire.

The money masters

Sarah Davis brings corporate finance experience to the Victoria's Secret board. The seasoned executive previously served as President of Canada's largest retailer Loblaw Companies. Before becoming President, Davis was the Chief Administrative Officer and CFO at the company. Most recently, she was the Chairman of the T&T Supermarkets and was also a board member for President's Choice Financial. Davis is a graduate of the University of Queens, where she majored in accounting.

Once the CFO of Foot Locker, Lauren Peters brings extensive financial knowledge to the board. The experienced retail industry veteran has a more than 24-year career with Foot Locker, where she served in multiple positions. Currently, Peters also sits on the board of La-Z-Boy, a furniture company, and has previously served on the board for high-fashion activewear retailer, Carbon38.

The marketing gurus

Marketing and branding expert Irene Chang Britt will also be joining the company's board. Chang Britt currently serves on the boards of eCommerce marketing analytics startup Mikmak, annuities and life insurance firm Brighthouse Financial, senior living personalizer Amica Senior Lifestyles and Peloton Capital. Prior to her many board positions, Chang Britt was the SVP of Global Baking and Snacking at Pepperidge Farm.

Another essential addition to the board is Jacqueline Hernandez. Hernandez is currently the CEO of multicultural marketing consulting firm New Majority Ready. Most recently, she served as the President of Combate Americas, a Hispanic sports and entertainment company. In addition, the Baruch College graduate has previously served as the COO of NBCUniversal Telemundo and CMO of NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises.

Irene Chang Britt Linkedin

Irene Chang Britt (right) at the Fortune Most Powerful Women International conference in Toronto. Image courtesy of LinkedIn.

Governance expert

Named one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance, Anne Sheehan brings a wealth of administration and policy experience to the Victoria’s Secret board. Previously the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee Chair, Sheehan has also served as the Director of Corporate Governance at the world's largest educator pension fund, The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS). In addition, from 2004-2008, Sheehan was the Chief Deputy Director for Policy at the California Department of Finance.

With a group of established female executives leading changes at Victoria's Secret, L Brands chairman Sarah E. Nash is confident that the Victoria's Secret brand will continue to grow after its separation.

"We are thrilled with the group of diverse and seasoned executives who will comprise the new Victoria's Secret Board," Nash said in a statement. "These individuals collectively bring immense leadership and industry experience as well as financial and governance expertise, which will be instrumental as the Victoria's Secret team continues to realize the brand's full potential."

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