Ralph Lauren, the designer behind the namesake brand synonymous with classic American style, is stepping down as CEO of the fashion company he launched in 1967.
Stefan Larsson, a former H&M executive who has been the president of Gap-owned Old Navy since 2012, will succeed him in November, the Ralph Lauren Corporation announced Tuesday. He will report to Lauren, who will remain at the company as executive chairman and chief creative officer.
"My job is to think always about the future of our company and how to move it forward," Lauren, 75, said in a press release. "Stefan Larsson is exceptionally talented, and he will bring our company a fresh and exciting global perspective."
Larsson said he was "thrilled" to work with Lauren in this new role.
"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," he said.
Lauren's long run as both the business and creative leader of the company was exceptional in the fashion industry, The New York Times noted. Most successful fashion houses rise to prominence on the shoulders of two executives, one on either end of the company.
While Forbes ranks Ralph Lauren in the top 100 most valuable brands, the company's profits fell in the most recent quarter ending in June, when revenue dropped 5.3 percent to $1.62 billion. Shares of the company are down 35 percent so far in 2015.
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