Bath & Body Aims to Keep Record Results Momentum as CEO Steps Down

Bath Body Works

Bath & Body Works, Inc. CEO and board member Andrew Meslow will leave the company May 12 due to health issues, the company announced Wednesday (Feb. 23) as part of its quarterly update to investors and analysts.

Board of Directors Chairwoman Sarah Nash will serve as executive chair until Meslow’s departure and take on the role of interim CEO when he steps away, the company announcement says. The company will hire a national search firm to help to find a permanent CEO.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this great company as CEO and be a part of the organization for nearly two decades,” said Meslow in the company announcement. “After much consideration and many discussions with my family, I have decided to step down as CEO so that I can focus on my health.

“As difficult as this decision was, I know I will be leaving this amazing company in highly capable hands with Sarah’s oversight, the deep and experienced bench of leadership and the most talented associates in the industry … I am proud of what the Bath & Body Works team has accomplished and am confident in its bright future,” he said.

Nash is chair of the board, chief executive officer and majority shareholder of Novagard Solutions. She spent almost 30 years in investment banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co. before retiring as vice chairman for global investment banking in July 2005.

“Through the separation and formation of Bath & Body Works as an independent company, I have had the pleasure of working with the company’s leadership team and am confident in our strong and deep team,” said Nash in the company announcement. “The company delivered record performance in fiscal 2021, and we are well-positioned for continued success.”

Speaking of that record performance, Bath & Body Works reported net sales of $3.027 billion for the fourth quarter ending Jan. 29, up 11% from the same three-month period last year.

Fourth-quarter operating income from continuing operations at Bath & Body Works was $879.2 million, up from $869.2 million last year, and net income from continuing operations was $592.6 million compared to $556.9 million last year.

Net sales from continuing operations for fiscal 2021 jumped 22% to $7.882 billion from $6.434 billion in fiscal 2020.

Related: Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works Chart Separate Paths On Similar Trends

In August, Bath & Body Works parent company L Brands spun off Victoria’s Secret and became its own public brand. The focus remains on home fragrances, body care and fragrances, soaps and sanitizers, although it’s exploring an expansion into skincare, hair care, wellness and other home categories.