Ralph Lauren Promotes Founder’s Son to Help Make Brand Hip AgainBy
David Lauren named vice chairman, chief innovation officer
Fashion house is trying to revive sales growth, improve brand
David Lauren, the son of fashion designer Ralph Lauren, has reached the C-suite after being promoted to chief innovation officer and vice chairman of the company his father founded almost 50 years ago.
The 44-year-old’s innovation position was created to drive the Ralph Lauren brand across all channels, the New York-based company said Friday in an e-mailed statement. The appointment is part of Chief Executive Officer Stefan Larsson’s “Way Forward” plan to revive Ralph Lauren Corp.’s sales and make the classic American brand cool again.
David Lauren’s role “will help us create a sustainable competitive advantage by bringing us closer to the consumer as we continue to evolve the company from the core of its iconic brand,” Larsson said in a statement.
Larsson has shaken up Ralph Lauren’s management and pledged to react faster to new trends by reducing the time it takes for designs to reach stores. The company was among other fashion brands that allowed customers to buy items from its collection right after the New York Fashion Show to capture immediate sales. Jane Nielsen, Coach Inc.’s former chief financial officer, also joined the company last month to help execute its turnaround plan.
David Lauren, who’s been on the company’s board since 2013, was previously executive vice president responsible for the global advertising and marketing campaigns for all of the company’s brands. He helped launch the company’s website, pioneered its use of digital technology and built its e-commerce capacity, the fashion house said.
Ralph Lauren climbed as much as 2.7 percent to $104.17 in New York. The shares had slid 9 percent this year through Thursday.