Ralph Lauren steps down as CEO of his famous fashion empire, but he has hired a pretty good replacement. The iconic 75-year-old designer and business exec will be replaced by Stefan Larsson, the former global president of Old Navy, in November, according to the New York Times on Tuesday. Lauren will become executive chairman and chief creative officer of Ralph Lauren Corp. and Larsson will report to Lauren.
The news that Ralph Lauren steps down as CEO comes after the Ralph Lauren Company reported a 5.3% drop in revenue from June 2014 to June 2015, with stock sales down 44% this year to date. According to CNN Money, Larsson has held several positions at H&M Corp. and helped grow the company’s operations from 12 to 44 countries, increasing sales from $3 billion to $17 billion during his time with the company.
Ralph Lauren founded The Ralph Lauren company in 1967, launching his first retail store, Polo Ralph Lauren, in 1971. Today there are more than 300 Polo Ralph stores across the world. The fashion icon’s brands include Lauren by Ralph Lauren, American Living, Chaps and Club Monaco. While his name may be synonymous with high-end menswear and country club chic, Ralph Lauren’s handmade Ricky bag, inspired by his wife, is one of his company’s most coveted items, retailing for up to $22,500.
Ralph Lauren steps down as CEO long after his company’s heyday in the 1990s and 2000s. Lauren was so popular during that time that his company was a recurring storyline on the hit sitcom “Friends,” when Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) got her dream job working at Ralph Lauren’s company. The famed designer even made a rare cameo in the 1999 episode “The One With Ross; Teeth,” turning up in an elevator.