This morning Ralph Lauren provided a bit of a surprise when it reported its earnings for 3Q and included the announcement that company president and CEO, Stefan Larsson, would be stepping down in a mutually agreed upon decision. Larsson will stay on until May 1, 2017, at which time a search for a new CEO will begin.
“Stefan and I share a love and respect for the DNA of this great brand, and we both recognize the need to evolve,” said executive chairman and chief creative officer, Ralph Lauren, in a statement to the press today (February 2, 2017). “However, we have found that we have different views on how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business. After many conversations with one another, and our Board of Directors, we have agreed to part ways. I am grateful for what Stefan has contributed during his time with us, setting us in the right direction with the Way Forward Plan.”
In an attempt to modernize its business through a “Way Forward” plan that was presented to investors in June 2016, there was chatter that Larsson’s vision for the company was often stymied by Lauren, especially as related to design and marketing ideas.
Larsson replaced Lauren as CEO in November 2015. Prior to Ralph Lauren, he served as global president of Old Navy for three years, and also was the head of global sales at H&M for almost 15 years.