L Brands CEO takes $9m salary hit as company fails to reach targets

Leslie H. Wexner, CEO and founder of L Brands, Inc., received $5.7 million in total compensation in 2017, down from $14.7 million in 2016 as earlier restructuring efforts have failed to pay off.


Leslie H. Wexner - L Brands

Wexner’s compensation has decreased consistently since 2015 when L Brands achieved record results. In 2016 the company implemented a number of initiatives aiming to improve the position of its businesses for the future which had a negative short-term effect on the company’s results, leading its Compensation Committee to reduce the CEO’s target compensation for 2017 by 34% from 2016’s $14.7 million.

In an SEC filing on Monday, the company said: "In fiscal 2016, the Company implemented a series of initiatives designed to better position several of our businesses for the future. The short-term effects of some of these initiatives have not yet produced the results that are expected."

The company’s performance in 2017 subsequently led Wexner’s compensation to be reduced even further to the final $5.7 million, a total which is well below the median of CEO compensation among L Brands’ peers.
 
The Columbus, Ohio-based apparel retail group saw net income drop to $983 million in fiscal 2017 compared to $1.158 billion in 2016. Net sales were up to $12.632 billion from $12.574 billion but comparable sales still decreased 3 percent, a disappointing performance that the company attributed to its Victoria’s Secret brand, still suffering from its exit from the swim and apparel categories.
 
In a filing made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announcing the company’s annual Stockholders Meeting in May, L Brands was therefore able to affirm “there is alignment between our performance, our stockholders’ interests and our CEO’s pay”.
 
Wexner was recently ranked no. 287 on the Forbes billionaire list, with an estimated worth of $6.1 billion.

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