Ralph Lauren Steps Down As Chief Executive Of His Company

Ralph Lauren CEO H&M
Ralph Lauren, 75, will be steeping down as CEO of his company, it was announced Tuesday. He'll become executive chairman and chief creative officer. Taking over as CEO is former Old Navy global president Stefan Larsson. UPI /Laura Cavanaugh | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 (UPI) — Fashion icon Ralph Lauren will be resigning his position as chief executive officer of his company this fall, the company announced Tuesday.

The 75-year-old designer will remain with the company he founded as executive chairman and chief creative officer. Former H&M executive and global president of Old Navy Stefan Larsson will take over as CEO and join the company’s board in November. Larsson is credited with Old Navy’s resurgence.

The shuffling of jobs will likely be seen as the company setting its finances in order to meet stiff competition from other luxury brands. Though the company’s latest earnings beat analyst expectations at $1.09 a share, revenue has dropped 5.3 percent year over year and share price has fallen by almost half in 2015.

Lauren described the move as a partnership, and said he and Larssson “have a strong personal bond and share a vision for the future of (the company),” he told investors.

Larsson said he was “thrilled to have the opportunity to work directly and collaboratively with a fashion giant.”

Lauren told the New York Times he’s not stepping back, but Tuesday’s announcement does seem to signal the last of the big American postwar designers riding into the sunset. Donna Karan left the leadership of her company earlier this year and Calvin Klein stepped down from his company in 2002.

“When they start designing things I can’t understand, I’ll quit,” Lauren said.


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