Ralph Lauren announced today that he will be stepping down as CEO of his company, handing the executive reins over to Stefan Larsson, who was previously the global president of Old Navy. “I’m looking at what the next steps are and how to keep the company growing and what our future is going to be,” Lauren told WWD.
Lauren has been at the helm as both chief executive and designer for nearly half a century, since the company’s founding in 1967, so the importance of this announcement can’t easily be overstated. The man is an icon of American fashion, and created one of the most important brands to ever come out of the United States. For fans who are freaking out right now, you can breathe a small sigh of relief: Lauren will stay on as executive chairman and chief creative officer.