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Ralph Lauren steps down as CEO; hands over baton to Old Navy president Stefan Larsson

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New York: Ralph Lauren, the quintessential American designer who built a fashion empire based on sweeping fantasies of country-club prep and the Wild West, is stepping down from his post as chief executive of his eponymous company.

The 75-year-old designer, who founded the luxury fashion label nearly 50 years ago, has announced that Stefan Larsson, a former H&M executive and president of Old Navy, a Gap brand, which he is credited with reviving, will be taking over, reported New York Times.

“He understands what dreams are. In this business, it’s about dreams because you are dreaming ahead and you’re about progress and change and newness,” Ralph said of 41-year-old Larsson.

Although Ralph, who turns 76 in October, has decided to step down as CEO, he plans to stay on as chief designer for the label and insisted he and Larsson will work together in a “partnership”.

Ralph added that his successor is “exceptionally talented” and will bring “a fresh and exciting global perspective to the company.”

Larsson will take over as chief executive of the Ralph Lauren Corporation in November, and will also join the company’s board.

“One of the biggest reasons for me to join is the opportunity to work side by side with someone like Ralph,” Larsson said.

PTI