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Head of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie resigns

Jan Singer had been in the role just over two years.

Victoria Secret's 2018 Body by Victoria Collection is shown in this news release photo.
Victoria Secret's 2018 Body by Victoria Collection is shown in this news release photo.Read moreVictoria's Secret

The head of Victoria's Secret Lingerie has left the company after just over two years in the role, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Jan Singer, chief executive officer of the L Brands Inc. unit, was responsible for the company's more than $4 billion lingerie business, which includes Victoria Sport, according to its website. The former head of Spanx joined Victoria's Secret in September 2016.

L Brands declined to comment. The company's shares pared gains after Bloomberg News reported the departure. The stock closed down 0.08 percent at $36.83, but is down about 39 percent this year to date.

Victoria's Secret has been under scrutiny for failing to keep up with shifting consumer demands, especially involving themes of female empowerment and diversity. Its reticence to change has been made even more pronounced with the emergence of competitors like Rihanna's lingerie company, Savage X Fenty, and ThirdLove, which aim to be more inclusive of women of different shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Underwear trends have also been shifting toward comfort and athleticism, rather than lacy, padded, and push-up.

In August 2017, Singer said that Victoria's Secret is "in the business of fashion and sexy" and that she wanted to provide "choices of sexy" for its customers. In her time at the company, she tried to reset its "panty architecture," where lower-cost underwear was used as a promotional tool to attract shoppers to stores. Singer said she wanted to make panties a strong business — rather than a marketing tool — by embracing a fast-fashion model where styles are updated frequently.

The departure marks the latest in a string of leadership turnovers at the retailer. Singer herself replaced longtime Victoria's Secret head Sharen Jester Turney, who abruptly retired as head of the lingerie brand after a decade. In August, the company announced the retirement of Denise Landman, CEO of its Pink brand. Her replacement is Amy Hauk, head of merchandising and product development at Bath & Body Works.