American designer Ralph Lauren is stepping down as CEO of the fashion house he built and handing over the reins to Stefan Larsson, the Global President of Old Navy, a division of Gap Inc.
The company said on Tuesday the appointment of Larsson will become effective in November. He will report to Ralph Lauren, who will stay on as Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer. Larsson will also join the board of Ralph Lauren.
Before joining Old Navy, Larsson worked for Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) for 15 years. He was part of the team that grew sales from USD3 billion to USD17 billion and expanded the company’s operations from 12 to 44 countries.
The company also announced that Jackwyn Nemerov, President and COO, will retire in November. She will become an advisor to the company. Chris Peterson, President of Global Brands, and Valerie Hermann, President of Luxury Collections, will continue in their current roles reporting to Stefan Larsson.
"My job is to think always about the future of our company and how to move it forward. Stefan Larsson is exceptionally talented, and he will bring our company a fresh and exciting global perspective. Stefan and I have a strong personal bond and share a vision for the future of Ralph Lauren. I appreciate Stefan’s unique sensibility, his honesty and his authenticity. We have had tremendous success expanding the Ralph Lauren brands around the world and creating a great management team. Now, all the pieces are in place to position our business for continued growth. We have been a leader in our industry for nearly 50 years, and this is just the beginning," said Ralph Lauren.
This announcement follows a number of steps the company has taken in recent years to continue to strengthen its industry leadership, reach new consumers and drive the continued growth of Ralph Lauren Corporation, which last year generated USD7.5 billion in sales.
In the past two years, the company continued to expand its luxury business and added three new brands to its portfolio – Polo for Women, Polo Sport, and Denim and Supply. In addition, Ralph Lauren Corporation has implemented a new global brand management organizational structure and expanded its omnichannel presence to reach new consumers. It has also made important investments in online, mobile and e-commerce to build on its track record of innovation and leadership in technology.