Business

Ralph Lauren boss Stefan Larsson to step down

Ralph Lauren catwalk Image copyright Getty Images

The chief executive of luxury fashion firm Ralph Lauren is to step down after less than two years in the post.

Stefan Larsson, a former head of Gap's Old Navy division, was appointed chief executive of the firm in late 2015.

He will leave on 1 May with a $10m pay settlement after disagreements with founder and chairman Ralph Lauren over the direction of the brand.

Mr Lauren headed the firm for nearly 50 years before being succeeded by Mr Larsson.

The company said a search was being conducted for a new chief executive.

"Stefan and I share a love and respect for the DNA of this great brand," said Mr Lauren.

"However, we have found that we have different views on how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business."

Ralph Lauren also reported a 12% fall in holiday quarter revenue to $1.71bn, after a slump in wholesale shipments to customers.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said the "dire results" and "sudden departure" by Mr Larsson "gives the impression of a brand in crisis, and we believe it signals significant internal wrangling over the future direction of the firm".

"It also demonstrates the founder's continued dominance over the business," he added.

"This, in our view, is not the way to reinvent a brand that has clearly lost its way."

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