Iconic designer, Ralph Lauren, turns 76-years-old in October this year. And big news is that he has stepped down as CEO of his pioneering fashion house that he founded nearly 50 years ago.
He has given the new position to Stefan Larsson, the president of the Gap-owned budget chain, Old Navy. However, Lauren will continue to oversee the brand’s creative strategy and remain executive chairman and chief creative officer. Larsson will continue to report to the designer.
Lauren said, of the new CEO: “He understands what dreams are. In this business, it’s about dreams because you are dreaming ahead and you’re about progress, change and newness.” He told WWD: ”Stefan brings something special…he has the sensitivity of design and of building a business and growing companies. That’s rare in our business. Usually, it’s one or the other.”
Lauren’s son David is already involved in the company, sitting on the board and acting as executive vice president. David added that he was looking forward to working with his father’s chosen CEO. He spoke of Larsson’s commitment and passion to build great brands and how it will be invaluable as they move into the future.
The announcement caused Ralph Lauren’s shares to rise 3.9% in post-trading hours. The fashion empire includes some 25 brands including Polo, Club Monaco and Denim & Supply. Ralph Lauren made $7.5bn in sales last year. The pioneering designer said his successor was “exceptionally talented” and would bring “a fresh and exciting global perspective” to the company.