Ralph Lauren Corp. said the company’s founder will step down as chief executive officer and be succeeded by Gap Inc. executive Stefan Larsson.
Larsson, who was global president of Gap’s Old Navy brand since 2012, will take over the job effective in November, New York-based Ralph Lauren said Tuesday in a statement.
Ralph Lauren has struggled recently as the stronger dollar hurts the value of its sales abroad, contributing to a 44 percent decline in its shares this year through Tuesday’s close. Lauren, 75, founded the company about 48 years ago, selling ties.
At Gap, Larsson helped shape the value-focused Old Navy chain into the retailer’s star performer. Larsson, formerly at Hennes & Mauritz AB, drove sales at Old Navy with an operating model that systematically identifies trends, develops versatile fabrics for the products, tests the items in stores, then ramps up marketing and production. Comparable sales at Old Navy have outstripped the company’s Gap and Banana Republic brands for the past six quarters.
Ralph Lauren rose 3.7 percent to $107.94 at 4:24 p.m. in late trading in New York.
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