Sharen TurneyIn a shocking surprise, this morning, Victoria’s Secret CEO Sharen Jester Turney suddenly announced her resignation after 16 years with the world’s most well known lingerie clothing line. She took over for CEO in 2006 after serving as president and CEO of Victoria’s Secret Direct.

In an official statement, she said “After 16 years and a record fourth quarter at Victoria’s Secret, I have decided to prioritize my family and my personal life and consider what’s next for me professionally. My years with Victoria’s Secret have been the most exciting and rewarding years of my career. I leave the Victoria’s Secret business well-positioned for the next chapter of growth … a strong brand with great momentum. I take great satisfaction and pride in what our team has accomplished, including tremendous growth and the development of a world-class team.”

While her reasoning might be sound, investors are clamoring for reasons as a business decision since the company is currently coming off a strong fourth quarter. After all, Victoria’s Secret reported, last week, more than $2 billion in sales during the fourth quarter alone, which is a 7 percent increase over the same period last year.   This, of course, contributed to a solid year of record sales for the lingerie brand’s parent company, L Brands, which also owns Bath & Body Words (among others).

Upon release of the announcement, shares of L Brands fell 5.1 percent, to $79.75.

Speaking of the parent company, L Brands CEO and Chairman Leslie Wexner will take over for Turney in the interim, until a replacement can be found.

Wexner reports, “We are very grateful to Sharen for her leadership and all that she has accomplished; Victoria’s Secret sales have increased more than 70 percent to $7.7 billion and profit has increased substantially during her nine years as CEO. While she will be missed, we support her in her choice and wish her well.”

Wexner, of course, is well equipped to helm the company in Turney’s stead, with more than fifty years of experience in the retail industry

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