Robert H. Morosky, Limited Inc.'s vice chairman and chief financial officer, resigns

This is an un-archived 1985 Wall Street Journal article dated June 16, 1987. It is about Robert H. Morosky’s unexpected resignation from Leslie Wexner’s The Limited. Because of the increased interest in Wexner’s financial history and his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein I thought it important to include here. (I didn’t have anywhere else to post this).

OF NOTE: Is the way the relationship to Leslie Wexner is worded. It appears to be very similar to the way Jeffrey Epstein in his 2003 interview with Vicky Ward described his own relationship with Leslie Wexner.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE: Robert Morosky unexpectedly resigns from Leslie Wexner’s The Limited

By Carol Hymowitz Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal 06/16/87 WALL STREET JOURNAL Robert H. Morosky, Limited Inc.'s vice chairman and chief financial officer, resigned unexpectedly as an officer and director of the major retailer. Mr. Morosky, 46 years old, said in an interview that after 15 years in the retailing pressure cooker, he wants to retire as the Columbus, Ohio-based company's No. 2 executive "and go fishing." The company named Kenneth B. Gilman, treasurer and controller, to succeed Mr. Morosky as chief financial officer. The 41-year-old Mr. Gilman, who was considered a protege of Mr. Morosky, also was named an executive vice president, but won't be a director. Mr. Morosky's departure surprised industry analysts and executives, several of whom wondered whether additional factors triggered his decision. "I'm very surprised," said Arthur D. Charpentier, an investment adviser at Merritt Research, White Plains, N.Y.

"Bob Morosky and (Limited Chairman) Leslie Wexner have been an extraordinarily effective team." In a terse prepared statement, Mr. Wexner, who often called Mr. Morosky "my partner," said only that "it has been important to work with Bob over the years. He has made a significant contribution to the development of the business." Mr. Morosky, who is credited as the architect of Limited's efficient distribution system -- which enables the retailer to move inventory to its 2,800 stores more quickly than competitors -- insisted he had "absolutely no falling out" with Mr. Wexner, a hard-driving and determined chief executive officer.

Company officials also said Mr. Morosky and Mr. Wexner weren't at odds. Industry sources suggested that one possible factor precipitating Mr. Morosky's resignation was his association with Walsh Trucking Co.'s Frank Walsh, who is under investigation in several cities for alleged payoffs and anti-competitive practices. Limited, which has been a major client of Mr. Walsh, has been reducing its contracts with Walsh Trucking in favor of other shippers lately. Mr. Walsh has denied the allegations against him.

In recent months, Limited has asked key managers whether they have any relationship with Mr. Walsh, including any social contact. Mr. Morosky has a condominium adjacent to Mr. Walsh's in Key Largo, Fla. Mr. Morosky said, "Mr. Walsh is a business contact through the Limited and that relationship has nothing to do with my leaving." He added, "It's absurd to draw reference to some poor guy under review."

Mr. Wexner couldn't be reached for comment, and a Limited spokesmen said, when asked if the tie with Mr. Walsh was a factor, "Not that I'm aware of." Mr. Morosky's resignation came only weeks after a cover story about him in CFO Magazine. In that question-and-answer interview, Mr. Morosky said he worked with Mr. Wexner "on a partnership basis.

Our skills complement each other's; our value systems are still the same. We're both career oriented." Indeed, the only difference he cited between himself and the 49-year-old Mr. Wexner was that "I have more of an analytical approach, and he has more of a marketing approach." As Limited's chief financial officer, Mr. Morosky arranged financing for the retailer's acquisitions.

In recent years, the company has expanded by acquiring a number of specialty apparel chains, including Lane Bryant, Victoria's Secret and Lerner's. Along with overseeing the distribution network, he also organized a merchandise system of tracking inventory and sales at every store on a daily basis. "Wexner is the marketing genius, but Morosky handled all the financing, administration and logistical support," said Mr. Charpentier of Merritt Research.

Mr. Morosky, who owns more than 1.3 million shares of Limited, said that he plans to form an investment and stock-trading firm. Noting that he was leaving Limited when it was "very strong financially," he added, "I didn't want to leave in the middle of a crisis, and I wanted to leave with class and dignity." Mr. Gilman, who worked directly for Mr. Morosky, said he had no inkling of the vice chairman's resignation plans until last Friday. He said that while his new job will be broader than the post of treasurer, he has been a member for the past year of Limited's operating committee, which reviews strategy and operations.