Ralph Lauren Steps Down As CEO Of Namesake Company

Ralph Lauren has shed one of his titles at his eponymous company, the firm announced today.

Lauren will step down from the CEO post in November, at which time the former global president of Old Navy, Stefan Larsson, will take on the role.

Larsson will report directly to Lauren, who will continue to serve as executive chairman and chief creative officer of the company he founded 40 years ago.

“My job is to think always about the future of our company and how to move it forward,” Lauren said in a statement. “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. … Now, all the pieces are in place to position our business for continued growth.”

Lauren added that he “appreciates” the incoming CEO’s “unique sensibility, honesty and authenticity.”

Prior to his time at Old Navy, Larsson spent 15 years at Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M).

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work directly and collaboratively with a fashion giant like Ralph Lauren,” Larsson said in a release. “His creativity and singular vision have made Ralph Lauren one of the world’s most influential global brands, and I share his dreams for the future. I believe the company has tremendous potential to continue expanding in the global marketplace as it broadens its appeal to all consumers.”

The company also announced that Jackwyn Nemerov, president and COO, will retire in November, and then become an adviser 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.

After slumping profits in the fourth quarter, Ralph Lauren Corp. posted better-than-expected first-quarter results in August, with earnings of $64 million and revenues of $1.6 billion — stronger than Wall Street’s forecast but still a year-on-year decline.

The company is in the midst of a restructuring that it hopes will foster $100 million in annual expense savings.

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