Ralph Lauren, the American designer who built an American fashion brand empire, is stepping down as the chief executive of the company.
Lauren will be replaced by Stefan Larsson, former H&M executive and the president of Old Navy.
The 41-year-old Larsson, according to the New York Times, is “one of the most visible executives in retailing,” being able to revive Old Navy, Gap’s down-market brand, since he took over in 2012.
Lauren, 75, said that he will remain active in the brand as executive chairman and chief creative officer. A statement by the company said that he will “continue to actively drive the company’s vision and strategy.”
Founded in 1971, Ralph Lauren is now listed in Forbes as having a net worth of $6 billion.
“When they start designing things I can’t understand, I’ll quit,” he said in an interview. “But I don’t feel like I’m stepping back now,” Mr. Lauren said.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work directly and collaboratively with a fashion giant like Ralph Lauren. 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. I believe the company has tremendous potential to continue expanding in the global marketplace as it broadens its appeal to all consumers,” Larsson said in a statement.
Lauren also has a lot of kind words to say about the former Old Navy executive. “My job is to think always about the future of our company and how to move it forward … Stefan Larsson is exceptionally talented, and he will bring our company a fresh and exciting global perspective,” he said.
Larsson will replace Lauren effective November 2015.