Ralph Lauren Names His Replacement as CEO, But Isn LeavingStephanie Stanton (Author) Published Date : Oct 01, 2015 16:43 ET
Ralph Lauren will hand over the reins as Chief Executive Officer of the home d cor and fashion empire he was the founder of close to five decades ago. On Tuesday, the company based in New York announced that global president at Old Navy the successful low price chain owned by Gap, Stefan Larsson would take the CEO role from Lauren.
This change will take place during November. Larsson will be reporting to Lauren, who is staying on to be the force behind the strategy as well as vision of the company as its chief creative officer and executive chairman.
As Old Navy s global president for the last three years, Larsson was able to remake the low price clothing business into Gap s bright spot.
Before his Old Navy tenure, Larsson formed part of team of executives at inexpensive chic fashion H&M based in Sweden. He was there 15 years and helped to increase the revenue annually from just over $3 billion to more than $17 billion.
For that period, the operations at H&M grew from 12 countries to 44.
During an interview in his Midtown Manhattan office, Lauren the iconic designer who is 75, emphasized he was not ready to slow down but he sees Larsson, who is 41, as his partner.
Lauren said he was present and would not be exiting any time soon. He added that Stefan was arriving at Ralph Lauren because I believe he will be a very interesting addition.
Asked if he picked Larsson due to his success in fashion, Lauren did acknowledge his success as a businessman, but for him it was more important Larsson and he shared a vision in common.
Lauren wanted a knowledgeable CEO and he and Larsson connected during dinner followed by subsequent meetings.
Lauren started the business 48 years ago by selling ties and has built the empire to include men s, women s and kid s clothing, home d cor as well as accessories, with now even restaurants.
However, following years of strong growth, the company has seen a slowdown in revenue. During its most recent fiscal year, ending in March, the company had $7.49 billion in sales but that was just an increase of 2.3% from the year before. Shares are down 44% in 2015.
Ralph Lauren Names His Replacement as CEO, But Isn Leaving