- April Holt, Victoria's Secret executive vice president of stores and store operations since 2016, has resigned, L Brands confirmed to Retail Dive on Thursday.
- She had been with the struggling brand in various roles for nearly 17 years, according to her LinkedIn page.
- Newly arrived brand CEO John Mehas at the company's shareholders meeting last month unveiled changes to merchandise and stores at Victoria's Secret that he described as an evolution long in coming, but also expressed a sense that the brand doesn't want to go too far.
Victoria's Secret has been swiftly losing market share, while only slowly making adjustments to its styles, stores and message.
The company announced plans to shutter stores early this year, but has continued to see sales drop as other players, notably online startups and American Eagle's Aerie brand, attract the attention of shoppers looking for fresher, more empowering takes in style and substance.
With Mehas on board, changes to the brand's operations appear to be gaining steam, and Holt's abrupt departure could be a reflection of that.
Lee Peterson, executive vice president of thought leadership and marketing at WD Partners, who worked for years at L Brands when it still ran The Limited, said that departures at Holt's level were more traditionally something for early in the year.
"'Planned' exits at L Brands almost always happen in January just before the end of the fiscal year," he told Retail Dive by text. "So if they're doing this now, yeah, they want to move fast and affect big change to show they're really serious about moving to new. We used to have a funny expression about working there — 'it's a magic place to work: poof! and you're gone.'"