Bath & Body Works, a leading soap and fragrance retailer, recently announced that its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Wendy Arlin, will be stepping down from her position by July 29. The company has retained a search firm to help identify a suitable successor for the role, and Arlin may vacate the position earlier if a successor is named before the deadline. Wendy Arlin assumed the role of CFO at Bath & Body Works in August 2021, following the company’s split from Victoria’s Secret.
Prior to her appointment as CFO, Arlin served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller for L Brands, where she oversaw various functions such as corporate finance, accounting, payroll, and real estate and store design finance. Under the leadership of CEO Gina Boswell, who took over in December, Bath & Body Works has been undergoing a period of transition. The company has experienced sales contractions, margin pressures, and significant investments following its separation from Victoria’s Secret.
In addition to Arlin’s departure, Bath & Body Works has created new executive positions, including Chief Digital and Technology Officer and Chief Customer Officer, to help drive growth and profitability. Thilina Gunasinghe has been appointed as the company’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer, effective April 17. In this newly created role, Gunasinghe will lead Bath & Body Works’ digital and technology strategy, digital operations, data and analytics, and transformation efforts.
The company is also currently searching for a candidate to fill the newly created Chief Customer Officer role. Despite these leadership changes and challenges, Bath & Body Works remains focused on reshaping its store footprint to grow in off-mall locations. The company plans to close approximately 50 mall locations while opening 90 off-mall stores.
For the year ending January 28, 2023, Bath & Body Works reported a 4% decrease in net sales to $7.56 billion, down from $7.88 billion the previous year. The company’s guidance for Q1 earnings suggests a decline in net sales in the low- to mid-single digits compared to $1.45 billion in 2022, with flat net sales to a mid-single-digit decline forecasted for the full year.
Jeanel has 15 years of retail, marketing and brand management experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2019, after working in corporate retail and real estate as a senior managing director and former consultant. She's traveled all over the world, speaks at world renowned trade shows and events, holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate. You can connect with her on Linkedin.