Leslie H. Wexner
Leslie H. Wexner, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of L Brands, Inc., was born Sept. 8, 1937, in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Russian immigrants. As a child he watched his parents work hard, owning and operating a small store named “Leslie’s” in downtown Columbus. He credits his parents with teaching him the importance of hard work, attention to detail and the belief that anything is possible. After graduating from The Ohio State University (OSU) and serving in the Air National Guard, he worked in his parents’ business.
In 1963, Les founded L Brands with one store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Columbus, Ohio — The Limited — with sales of $160,000 the first year. In the years that followed, he expanded his business portfolio through both invention and acquisition, becoming a dominant U.S. retailer with numerous powerful brands and brand extensions. Under Les' leadership, L Brands has evolved from an apparel-based specialty retailer to an approximately $12 billion segment leader with more than 80,000 associates focused on lingerie, beauty and personal care product categories.
Throughout his career, Les has been committed to making a difference in the community and is one of the industry’s most generous philanthropists. Les has a profound interest in the development of tomorrow’s leaders through the works of Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership; the Wexner Foundation; and The Ohio State University. His areas of community interest include The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; the Columbus Partnership; Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University; Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus; and the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Columbus.He is a generous supporter of the United Way and was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship for his commitment to the public good.