Ascena Retail Group has named Linda Heasley as president and CEO of plus sized clothing retailer Lane Bryant, which it acquired last year.

She replaces former president Brian Woolf, who has been named as CEO of Body Central. Heasley joins the company after six years as president and CEO of The Limited.

Ascena Retail Group said that during her time with The Limited, Heasley revamped store product lines, introduced new brand positioning, launched e-commerce, commissioned a new store design, introduced a plus-size brand, inaugurated a new national advertising campaign, and returned The Limited to sustained profitability for the first time in 17 years.

She has also held senior roles at Timberland, Limited Brands and CVS.

"A very focused search process was conducted and the organisation was able to attract a number of highly qualified candidates," said Ascena Retail Group president and CEO David Jaffe.

"Linda is the ideal person to lead Lane Bryant. She has a track record of impressive business results, an engaging and collaborative style, and a passion for the customer."

Ascena Retail Group acquired Charming Shoppes, which includes the  Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes, last year for US$890m. It has since closed down the Fashion Bug business.