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Ralph Lauren Steps Down As CEO

Ralph Lauren is stepping down as CEO of his eponymous company, and Stefan Larsson, the man credited for turning around Old Navy and H&M, is stepping in, according to the New York Times.

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Stephan LarssonPhoto: via Gap Inc.

The move signals an effort by Ralph Lauren to stay relevant in a rapidly changing retail environment. Recently, the brand has experienced slumping sales and stock has fallen about 43% so far this year.

“The company has to change,” Lauren tells the Wall Street Journal. “It’s a public company and we have a responsibility to have the right leadership.” Lauren will stay on as executive chairman and chief creative officer.

After 15 years at H&M and three years as president of Old Navy, where he led the company to an impressive revival, Larsson certainly has the track record for a turnaround. How Larsson’s mass-market retail philosophy will jive with a brand that has been routed in the promise of luxury, however, remains to be seen.

[via New York Times]

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