- Les Wexner is the CEO of L Brands, the company behind Victoria’s Secret and Pink. L Brands’ headquarters is in Columbus, Ohio.
- Wexner and his wife, Abigail, are powerful forces in the state.
- According to Bloomberg, Wexner even had a hand in creating an entire town there.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In parts of Ohio, Les Wexner has status equivalent to a town mayor.
That’s partly because Wexner, the CEO of Victoria’s Secret and Pink parent company L Brands, had a hand in designing an entire town there. L Brands is also headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Wexner bought his first plot of land in New Albany, Ohio, in the late 1980s, in order to build his own mansion there. In 1987, the 90-acre plot was valued at just under $US200,000.
Today, the land and house together are worth more than $US45.6 million, and he still lives there.
Wexner ending up buying 10,000 acres of land in the town through his development firm, The New Albany Co., which he cofounded with friend John Kessler. This plot was equal to the entire town and parts of the surrounding area. He then called in a group of the country’s top architects and landscapers and spent Saturday mornings designing the town, according to Bloomberg.
According to The New Albany Co.’s website, the company has developed the town’s center, an arts center, parks, a business park, country club, and large residential areas.
“As the developer of a nationally-renowned master-planned community, The New Albany Company has paid careful attention to the details that enhance its residents’ quality of life and protect their long term investment,” it writes online.
The New Albany Company still owns around 20% of the town and according to a New Albany spokesperson, Wexner spends his Saturday mornings driving around to make sure everything is “remaining true to the original vision,” Bloomberg reported. Houses in the area are currently selling for as much as $US4.5 million.
Wexner is often considered one of the most successful businessmen in the US. He is worth more than $US6.3 billion and has worked his way up from running a small store in downtown Columbus to owning and founding L Brands, one of the largest retail corporations in the US.
But Victoria’s Secret, the US’ longtime lingerie powerhouse has struggled in recent years and been accused of failing to update its brand image to fit with the times. Meanwhile, other more body-positive brands such as American Eagle’s Aerie, ThirdLove, and Lively have taken away market share.
As a result, Victoria’s Secret has seen its market share in the US slip from almost 33% two years ago to around 24% today.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.