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Ralph Lauren announces he will step down as CEO of one of the world's most iconic fashion brands

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By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

September 30, 2015 | 3 min read

One of the fashion industry’s most iconic figures, Ralph Lauren, has announced that he will step down as chief executive of the company bearing his name.

The 75 year-old confirmed that he will hand over the reins to one of the US’s most iconic brands to Stefan Larsson who was most recently the global president of Gap's Old Navy division.

Lauren is not leaving the company completely though, after stepping down as chief executive in November he will become executive chairman and chief creative officer as well as sit on the company’s board of directors.

A statement released from the fashion house said that Lauren, who founded the company 48 years ago, would "continue to actively drive the company's vision and strategy”.

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Larsson steered Gap's Old Navy division for three years and helped make it the most successful line in the company’s portfolio. Prior to this, he served on the executive team at H&M for 15 years during which time the brand’s annual revenue grew from $3bn to $17bn, while expanding its operations from 12 countries to 44.

In an interview with The New York Times, Lauren said he and Larsson will work in partnership with each other as they look to continue to expand the luxury brand and grow its online presence. Earlier this year, Ralph Lauren moved into the high-tech fitness market with its PoloTech t-shirts which partner with an app to provide detailed feedback of biometric stats.

The company reported revenue of $7.5bn for the latest fiscal year and in the past two years has added three new ranges to its brand- Polo for Women, Polo Sport and Denim and Supply.

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