The inimitable Ralph Lauren announced today he is stepping down as CEO of Ralph Lauren, the company he founded in 1967. Former global president of Gap Group subsidiary Old Navy Stefan Larsson is stepping into the CEO role with 73 year old Lauren continuing on as Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer.
"Stefan brings something special," Lauren told WWD. "[he] has the sensitivity of design and of building a business and growing companies. That's rare in our business. Usually, it's one or the other."
As the first CEO of Ralph Lauren that isn't the man himself, Larsson has some very big shoes to fill, but with a strong track record at Old Navy, and a Ralph Lauren brand that is slightly faltering, the timing is perfect. Let's just hope Ralph keeps blessing us with his signature preppy style.