Ralph Lauren steps down as CEO of company

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.