How Did I Get Here?

Linda Heasley

President and chief executive officer, Lane Bryant
  • Education
  • Shaker Heights High School, Ohio, class of 1974
  • Harvard University, class of 1979
  • Work Experience
  • 1979–81
    Education director, Cancer Control Program, University of New Mexico
  • 1981–84
    Tour guide, Caesar Tours
  • 1986–87
    Analyst, American Airlines
  • 1987–90
    Director of administration, Shank, Irwin, Conant, Lipshy & Casterline
  • 1990–92
    Director, Lipshy Stephenson
  • 1993–2002
    Vice president for planning, CVS
  • 2002–03
    VP for planning and operations, Timberland
  • 2003–04
    SVP for planning and allocation, Bath & Body Works
  • 2004–06
    SVP for planning and allocation, Limited Brands
  • 2007–13
    Chairman, president, and CEO, the Limited
  • 2013–Present
    President and CEO, Lane Bryant
  • Life Lessons
  • “Listen to your folks. Staff and clients are often teaching things.”
  • “Never underestimate the sophistication of your customer.”
  • Fourth grade, 1965
    “I was a synchronized swimmer when it was definitely the dork sport of all time.”
  • Got her MBA from UCLA in 1986
  • “I perfected the art of the pub crawl, leading historic tours in England.”
  • With CVS employees in a store, late 1990s
    “This was the first of CVS’s great acquisition phases: The company grew from $4 billion to $35 billion.”
  • “They asked me to support all the businesses: Victoria’s Secret, Express, the Limited, Bath & Body Works, and Henri Bendel. It was an amazing opportunity, but I kept saying, ‘I’d really love to run a brand.’ I think they got tired of me saying that.”
  • Boating in Tybee, Ga., in 2014 with Marcus, her Frenchie
    “For six months, my job was to bring the brand to profitability and ready it to be sold. Sun Capital acquired it, then kept me on as CEO.”
  • With Salt-N-Pepa and models at an event in NYC, 2015
  • “We created a tumor registry in skin care that’s been used as a model, and taught Navajo medicine men how to look for cancer.”
  • Wedding day, 1984, with grandmothers
  • “It was a merchant bank doing deals—that really cultivated my love of acquisitions.”
  • “They knocked on my door, and I loved the brand—though I didn’t know anything about footwear or product development. The people were amazing, but it felt like a fraternity house all the time.”
  • “Our 2015 campaign is #ImNoAngel. Don’t tell her to lose weight. Tell her to be the best person she can be.”