Ralph Lauren to step down as chief executive of fashion empire

Ralph Lauren is stepping down as chief executive of the company he founded nearly 50 years ago, putting in motion a succession plan for one of the world's biggest fashion companies, although the designer will continue to play an active role in the company's management.

Ralph Lauren Corporation said in a press release on Tuesday that Stefan Larsson, a former H&M executive, will take over as chief executive officer in November. Larsson will report to Mr. Lauren, who will continue to actively drive the company's vision and strategy as executive chairman and chief creative officer.

"When they start designing things I can't understand, I'll quit. But I don’t feel like I'm stepping back now," Mr. Lauren, who turns 76 next month, told the New York Times in an interview.

The change is part of efforts to get the company's financial house in order and to put in motion a succession plan. Ralph Lauren Corp. generated $7.5 billion in sales last year, down more than 5 percent year-on-year, and its share price has slumped by nearly half this year alone amid a strong dollar and intense competition.

Among other changes, Ralph Lauren Corp. has implemented a new global brand management organizational structure and expanded its presence to reach new consumers by making investments in online, mobile and e-commerce.

As part of Tuesday's announcement, the company said president and chief operating officer Jackwyn Nemerov would retire in November, at which time she will become an advisor.

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

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