Ralph Lauren Stepping Down As CEO


New York Times

Ralph Lauren, on the right, and Steph Larsson, the new CEO, together at the Ralph Lauren offices in New York.

Hailee Ramirez, Photojournalist


Recently, the 75 year old who created the famous fashion empire 50 years ago, Ralph Lauren is “stepping down from his post as chief executive of the company” according to New York Times . Ralph Lauren is giving his position to the former president of Old Navy and executive of H&M, Stefan Larsson. “Stefan Larsson is exceptionally talented, and he will bring our company a fresh and exciting global perspective.” states Mr. Lauren (Washington Post). Even though Stefan is taking Ralph’s position, Ralph will still continue to be active in the company and help make important decisions. Ralph and Stefan will merely have a relationship characterized as a partnership.


The Ralph Lauren Company has always made high end luxury clothing, like Michael Kors and Coach, that consisted of wild west and country club prep. Larsson is supposed to help contribute new thinking and style for the Ralph Lauren company. Of course, Larsson was known for making Old Navy and H&M very successful, but those retail companies are considered low-end, and Ralph Lauren is a high end company. Mr. Lauren wants to incorporate fast fashion into his company by using Larsson since he has already had success in those areas of fashion. At the same time though Ralph will still be building the luxury side of the business. With out a doubt, Ralph Lauren was a little hesitant in hiring a guy who has not worked in luxury before. “I interviewed lots of people who were in luxury. But Stefan has a great quality that made me say: “You can be my new C.E.O.,” states Ralph Lauren (New York Times Magazine).


Another reason for Ralph Lauren’s sudden change is that he is trying to get the company’s financial house in order. The latest earnings of the company have been pressured by the strong dollar, which has kept foreign shoppers from spending big money at their stores in popular places. Also, the company has chose not to provide promotional pricing, which has provoked many shoppers to turn to retailers who offer discounts. The business’ stock has decreased 43 percent already this year. According to Washington Post, “In his new role, Larsson will be charged with helping Ralph Lauren grapple with a challenging sales environment”.


Rakeb Yohannes (10) states “As long as the central idea of Ralph Lauren’s style is still there, I am totally fine with Steph Larsson taking Ralph’s position if it means I can finely afford an item from the company due to the possible lowering of prices”.