It’s like watching Derek Jeter’s final game in Yankee Stadium, consciously and unwillingly understanding he’s the last of the core four to play the game. It is the definitive end of an era.
Fashion designer Ralph Lauren, founder of his self-named empire, has relinquished his title as CEO of the company. No need to fret too much, however. Lauren isn’t quite as willing to kick back and enjoy the perks of retiring like the Captain. And he’s certainly not ready to give up his power, but a new succession has to begin sometime and it starts with Stefan Larsson.
In November, the former H&M executive and Old Navy president, will take Lauren’s place, but he will still have to report to the fashion mogul as part of their “partnership.” Lauren will remain with the company, serving on the board of directors as the Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer to carry out the company’s vision to expand their thriving business, while also making it more accessible on the Web.
“When they start designing things I can’t understand, I’ll quit,” Lauren said. Until that time we can still expect his genius to be felt in every stitch and hem.
Known best for its Polo brand, the company that was founded nearly 50 years ago raked in $7.5 billion in revenue in the most recent fiscal year, a standard that Larson’s resume proves to be able to live up to. During the 15 years that he spent with H&M, he was part of an executive team that increased their operations from 12 countries to 44 and annual revenue from $3 billion to $17 billion. His ability to reinvigorate this company, which he is also credited with doing for Gap, will be essential to his new post with America’s most well-known fashion company.
Good luck to you, Mr. Larsson!