Wexner leaves company, Polaris mall bankruptcy: Columbus business news

Abigail, left, and Leslie Wexner have left the L Brands board. Here, the high-profile couple is shown at the naming of the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University.

From the diminished presence of Ohio’s richest man in the local business scene to the bankruptcy of the owner of Polaris Fashion Place and several other local malls, 2021 was packed with business stories that changed Columbus. Here’s a sampling.

Wexner cuts tiesLeslie Wexner, wife Abigail step down from board of former L Brands

L Brands founder Leslie H. Wexner and his wife, Abigail, stepped down from the board of the retailer he created in 1963 with $5,000 he borrowed from his aunt. The move followed Wexner’s decision the year before to retire as chairman and CEO of the company. The Wexners subsequently sold much of their stock in L Brands and L Brands later split into two companies, Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. Wexner’s move to step down as CEO and president came after he was criticized for his ties to child-sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

From left, former Equitas Health employees Lisa McLymont, Tia Carrington and Liz Rose-Cohen said they experienced or witnessed a culture of discrimination at the organization.

Equitas HealthFormer Equitas Health staff condemn ‘disrespectful, degrading and dehumanizing treatment’ of Black employees

The Columbus Dispatch investigated claims of racial discrimination made by current and former employees of Equitas Health, a Columbus-based health-care provider for the LGBTQ community. Following the report, former CEO Bill Hardy and other senior leaders resigned from the organization.  The board hired an interim chief people and culture officer and employed a law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the alleged racist culture in the workplace.

Christopher Lewis

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