Ralph Lauren CEO Leaving After Clash With Founder
Ralph Lauren Corp.’s Chief Executive Officer Stefan Larsson is leaving the company after a clash with the brand’s namesake and founder, Ralph Lauren. Larsson’s departure comes after a disagreement about how to reinvigorate the 50-year-old brand, which has been a preppy style staple. Ralph Lauren, who remained the company’s executive chairman and chief creative officer after Larsson’s appointment, said in a statement that the two couldn’t agree on what creative direction to take the business. Larsson will be departing Ralph Lauren on May 1, less than two years on the job, and will be receiving a $10 million severance and health benefits over the next two years.
Total Retail’s Take: Ralph Lauren is another retail brand that has suffered from heavy discounting in department stores as well as an aging customer base. Since 2015, Larsson has shaken up management ranks, cut jobs and shuttered stores as part of the company’s turnaround strategy, called the “Way Forward Plan.” That job now falls to Chief Financial Officer Jane Nielsen while Ralph Lauren searches for a new leader.