Ralph Lauren CEO Stefan Larsson resigned over what the Chicago Tribune calls a "creative clash" with the company founder. The company is struggling to maintain sales as its preppy style appeals to an older crowd, and the brand hasn't found a way to attract new customers.
In a statement, founder Ralph Lauren said, "We both recognize the need to evolve. However, we have found that we have different views on how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business. After many conversations with one another, and our board of directors, we have agreed to part ways."
In retrospect, perhaps Larsson was a tough fit: he came from Old Navy, which is a budget brand. He was quoted in the company's press release: "In June, we announced a plan to refocus the Company on what made it iconic, evolve that for today and build our brand to its full potential. That plan is on track—I am proud of the progress the whole team has made and I am committed to ensuring its uninterrupted execution. Ralph will always be an inspiration to me, and I am grateful to have had this experience."
Lauren also said, "The board and I are committed to the execution of the Way Forward Plan and continuing to move our business and iconic brand forward."
The stock fell 12% after the news was announced.
- Read Ralph Lauren's press release. How well does the message convey what happened? Does reading the release enhance or diminish the image of the brand in your eyes?
- Assess Larsson's quotation in the release. How well does he explain his own performance while maintaining the company's brand?