Damage on Skip Laurel
We think that the damage to the trunk or stem looks like damage by a type of flat headed borer, possibly the two-lined chestnut borer.
Borers may be an issue if the plant is under stress due to poor planting techniques, poor drainage, drought, etc. They cause branch dieback and decline.
If the damage is in the main trunk we recommend removal and replacing the shrub so that there is no source of the innoculant. There are no chemical controls.
Take a look at our blog on how to grow cherry laurels successfully in your landscape https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/01/07/qa-whats-wrong-with-my-cherry-laurel-shrubs/