Ralph Lauren Taps Procter & Gamble Veteran for CEO Post

Ralph Lauren Corp. is taking another stab at having someone other than its founder and longtime leader run the organization.

The company said today that it has named Procter & Gamble veteran Patrice Louvet president and CEO, effective July 17, 2017. He will also be appointed to the firm’s board of directors.

The announcement comes just three months after the company said that Stefan Larsson — the first president and CEO to succeed Lauren — was exiting the firm due to creative differences with its founder.

As was the case with Larsson’s arrival, Lauren will continue as executive chairman and chief creative officer. Louvet will dual-report to Lauren in his capacity as executive chairman of the board and to the company’s board of directors.

Louvet most recently served as group president of global beauty at P&G, a division of 12 brands with around $11.5 billion in revenues in 2016.

Finding the right partner to work with me to take us forward in our evolution has been my primary focus over the last several months, and I am thrilled that Patrice is joining our talented team,” Lauren said in a release. “He’s an enormously skilled business leader with a deep passion for the consumer and a sophisticated understanding of building global brands.

Lauren suggested in February that creative differences were mostly responsible for the short tenure of Larsson. After making a grand entrance to the firm in November 2015, Larsson — who headed up a robust turnaround as former global president of Old Navy — announced his May 1 departure in February.

Stefan and I share a love and respect for the DNA of this great brand, and we both recognize the need to evolve,” Lauren said at that time. “However, we have found that we have different views on how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business.”

Lauren added that “many conversations with one another, and our board of directors,” led to a mutual decision to part ways but acknowledged that Larsson set the firm in “the right direction with the Way Forward Plan.”

Incoming president and CEO Louvet spent 25 years at P&G. Among his prior roles at the firm were president of Global Prestige business and several management and leadership posts in Europe, Asia and North America.

Ralph is one of the world’s greatest fashion icons and someone I have admired for many years, and it’s an incredible opportunity to partner with him to continue to build on 50 years of heritage and innovation,” Louvet said in a statement today. “The brand holds tremendous potential around the world, and I could not be more excited to lead the next phase of development for this great company with Ralph and the team.”

Ralph Lauren is expected to release fourth-quarter earnings results before the market open on Thursday. As of 11:10 a.m. ET, the company’s shares were down 1 percent, to $73.21.

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