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Ralph Lauren steps down as CEO

Ralph Lauren is stepping down as chief executive of the fashion empire he founded almost 50 years ago, but will continue to drive its strategy as executive chairman and chief creative officer.

Old Navy global president Stefan Larsson will take over as CEO in November, reporting into Lauren.

President and chief operating officer Jackwyn Nemerov will also retire in November. She will become an advisor to the company.

President of global brands Chris Peterson and president of luxury collections Valerie Hermann will continue in their current roles, reporting to Larsson.

Larsson has been at Gap’s budget brand Old Navy since 2012. Under his leadership, the business enjoyed three years of profitable growth.

Sales at Old Navy rose 8% last year and it overtook Gap’s eponymous chain to become the company’s biggest business, with sales of $6.6bn (£4.4bn).

Before that he spent 15 years at H&M.

Lauren said: “My job is to think always about the future of our company and how to move it forward. Stefan Larsson is exceptionally talented, and he will bring our company a fresh and exciting global perspective. “

Over the past two years it has added three new brands to its portfolio: Polo for Women, Polo Sport, and Denim and Supply. Others include Polo Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Ralph Lauren Collection.

Ralph Lauren Corporation generated $7.5bn (£4.9bn) in sales in the year to March, but its net profit fell $74m (£48.8m) to $702m (£463m).

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