Wexner to Step Down from Ohio State Board of Trustees
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Les Wexner is stepping down.
Not from his post as chairman and president of Limited Brands, but rather from his position on The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.
Wexner was expected to remain in the position throughout his term, which ends in May 2020, but Ohio State announced Friday that Wexner plans to step down from the board in the near future.
He will be replaced by Alex Shumate — Managing Partner of the international law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP — who was reappointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to fill the remaining eight years of Wexner’s term.
“Les Wexner has provided extraordinary leadership to the university during times of significant change and progress, and we are grateful for his service,” Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee.
“We are also fortunate to continue to have Alex Shumate’s wisdom and guidance.”
Wexner, who is chair, president and chief operating officer of Limited Brands, was serving his third term on the board. He was appointed in 2005 and reappointed in 2011 for a new term to end in 2020.
He was recently replaced as the chairman of the Ohio State Board of Trustees after three years, when Robert H. Schottenstein was elected to the position back in February.
“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve Ohio State,” stated Schottenstein.
“Both the board and the university have made enormous strides under the extraordinary leadership of Chairman Les Wexner and President Gordon Gee. This is indeed a special time for the university as we are aligned on a set of ambitious goals that will secure Ohio State’s position as one of the nation’s premier universities.”
A graduate of Ohio State in 1959, Wexner previously served on the board from 1988-1997, during which he also served as chair, In total, Ohio State’s richest alum — worth $3.2 billion as of 2011, according to Forbes — has spent 18 years on the school’s Board of Trustees.
It was back in February that the Board of Trustees voted to name The Ohio State University Medical Center in his honor. It will now be known as Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, thanks to Wexner’s generous $100 million donation.
“For more than three decades, Mr. Wexner has been one of the University's most committed leaders and ardent supporters,” Gee added.
“His generous contributions, both in time and resources, have been wholly transformational, but his most valuable gift has been his remarkable leadership.”
Gee also welcomed two new appointees to the board, who were announced earlier by Gov. Kasich. Cheryl Krueger has been appointed to the board for a nine-year term ending in May 2021. Benjamin Reinke, a graduate student from Bowling Green studying nuclear engineering, will serve as a student member of the board for a two-year term ending in May 2014.
“Cheryl Krueger is a fierce advocate for this institution and Ben Reinke has been a significant leader among our students since he entered Ohio State as an undergraduate in 2006,” Gee stated.
“Both Cheryl and Ben will add considerable expertise to the board and provide exceptional leadership in governing this large and complex university.”
Krueger was the founder, president and chief executive officer of Cheryl & Co., a multi-million dollar gourmet food and gift corporation, which she sold in 2005. She served as president since the company’s incorporation in 1981 through 2009.
She recently founded KRUEGER+CO. Consulting, Inc. and serves as its CEO. Its primary focus is to help companies develop creative marketing and sales strategies as well as evaluate product development pipelines, operations, logistics and financial performance.
Krueger is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1974. She delivered the commencement address at Ohio State’s winter 2012 graduation.
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