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3 Jan

Martin Waters Taking Charge at Victoria’s Secret, Amy Hauk

The Latest Yr has brought a latest look from Victoria’s Secret & Co. with a giant leadership changeup and the completion of the $400 million-plus acquisition of Adore Me

Amy Hauk, who became chief executive officer of the Victoria’s Secret brand in a restructuring in July, is leaving the corporate as of March 31. Along with leading the flagship brand, Hauk had been CEO of the Pink business since 2018.

The pending departure was revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said Hauk gave notice last week that she was resigning. 

A spokesperson added to WWD that Hauk was stepping down “as a way to spend more time along with her family in Florida” and that she has “graciously agreed to a managed transition between now and the top of March.”

After her departure, Martin Waters, corporate CEO, will assume the responsibilities of name CEO as well. 

That makes a giant job even greater. The spokesperson noted: “Martin Waters will proceed to steer VS & Co and chief merchant Lisa Rogers, chief designer Janie Schaffer, head of MPA Angela Wical and chief creative Raul Martinez will all report on to Martin together with Timothy Johnson (chief administrative officer), Chris Rupp (chief customer officer), Greg Unis (chief growth officer), Dein Boyle (chief operating officer) and Mel McAfee (chief legal officer, chief HR officer).”

In a separate release, Waters focused on the Adore Me deal, which was signed in November and closed swiftly. 

“From the start, we evaluated Adore Me as a two for one opportunity — a technology-led, digital-first innovator within the intimates category and a highly efficient, growing and profitable stand-alone business model,” Waters said. 

Victoria’s Secret used to epitomize a certain bombshell stereotype of feminine beauty, but was caught within the cultural cross currents and has been seeking to stand for a broader array of body types. 

The Adore Me transaction matches with that latest stance. 

The deal included an initial money payment of $400 million. But in accordance with the SEC filing, the sellers are resulting from receive a minimum of one other $80 million and as much as $300 million more depending on how well the business performs. 

The 12-year-old Adore Me generated about $250 million in profitable sales last 12 months and focuses on inclusive looks. It has about 1.2 million energetic consumers and monthly subscription and residential try-on options. Along with intimates, the brand sells activewear and swimwear. 

That adds a latest growth vector to Victoria’s Secret, which projected in late November that its full-year net sales would slip 6 to 7 percent from $6.8 billion in 2021. 

Waters also played up the digital advantages for Victoria’s Secret.  

“In Adore Me, we have now acquired a business and a team that can help us deliver improved, elevated and differentiated experiences for Victoria’s Secret and Pink customers,” Waters said. “This acquisition will likely be a major accelerant as we pivot toward growth and modernize the inspiration of our company with technology on the forefront of the whole lot we do. From a financial standpoint, we firmly imagine the stand-alone Adore Me business can proceed their industry-leading sales growth at operating margin rates which are similar or accretive to the VS & Co operating model. We view this acquisition as a win-win opportunity to drive long-term, sustainable shareholder value.”

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