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Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet as CEO

Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet as CEO. The experienced executive is tasked with turning the struggling fashion brand around, as Ralph Lauren’s value continues to plummet.

Patrice Louvet is taking over as CEO of the Ralph Lauren Corporation, after former chief executive Steffan Larsson announced that he was stepping down from the role after just two years.

Larsson departs after falling out with founder Ralph Lauren. With a background in budget clothing, having previously worked with H&M and Old Navy, Larsson’s background doesn’t quite match the premium brand. Unsurprisingly, the pair failed to agree on the company’s direction and felt it was best to part ways.

“We both recognise the need to evolve,” Lauren stated. “However, we have found that we have different views on how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business.”

Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet as CEO - Compelo
Wikimedia/TonyTheTiger

Lauren hopes that new recruit Louvet will share a similar vision to his own.

The Frenchman has spent the last 25 years with consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble, which makes a number of top supermarket products. Although, it is his work with luxury brands such as Gucci and Hugo Boss, who partnered with P&G, which will interest Lauren most.

Ralph Lauren Corporation believes that Louvet will have a positive effect on the business. However, the appointment failed to convince the stock market. Following the announcement on May 17, Ralph Lauren’s share price fell by 3.3%.

The company is now worth 60% less than it was just three years ago.

Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet as CEO - Compelo
Wikimedia/Hwaufraliumea

Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet as CEO, but can he save the struggling brand?

The Ralph Lauren brand was at its peak in the 1980s and 90s. It was once viewed as one of the best men’s clothing brands in the world. However, the company has struggled to adapt to the changing fashion market and now finds itself at a crossroads.

With internet access making it easier to find products at discounted prices, few people are willing to purchase directly from Ralph Lauren stores, where the products are more expensive. As a result, revenue has fallen in recent years.

However, their biggest problem is their inability to attract new buyers. While there is still a core group of loyal fans, young people are turning to high-street brands for their fashion purchases. Larsson hoped to rectify this by targeting thrifty shoppers, but Lauren’s reluctance to accept change is an issue.

Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet as CEO - Compelo
Ralph Lauren. Wikimedia/Edgar de Evia

The fashion icon stepped down as CEO in 2015. However, he is a looming figure at Ralph Lauren Corporation, which limits the level of control that the new CEO actually has to steer the brand in a different direction.

Louvet has the skills and experience to revive the Ralph Lauren brand. Yet, whether he is allowed to is a different story.

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