Ralph Lauren names Procter & Gamble executive Patrice Louvet as CEO

19 May, 2017, 12:29 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Ralph Lauren names Procter & Gamble executive Patrice Louvet as CEO

Ralph Lauren has appointed Patrice Louvet as its new President and Chief Executive Officer to oversee its ongoing turnaround strategy.

Louvet will take up his position as president and chief executive officer on July 17, the fashion company announced from its NY headquarters. The move is part of a wider push to reverse a long-term slide in sales and to resolve the creative differences that Louvet's predecessor, Stefan Larsson, had encountered with the company's eponymous founder. That hampered efforts to turn around a business that's struggling with heavy discounting and sliding sales.

In choosing Louvet, the company is turning to a French native who spent more than 25 years at P&G, the world's largest consumer-products maker.

Under Louvet, Ralph Lauren will continue operating its Way Forward cost savings plan, in which the retailer aims to save approximately $180 million to $220 million per year by streamlining the organizational structure and reducing the real estate portfolio. In his latest role as Global Beauty President, he ran 12 brands that were collectively worth $11.5bn in revenues in 2016. He most recently ran the company's United States $11.5 billion global beauty business that was sold past year to Coty for U.S. $12.5 billion.

The pick failed to comfort Wall Street.

Greenwood Capital Associates LLC reduced its position in shares of Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL) by 1.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Over the past year, inventory was down 30 percent and the number of items was down 20 percent for the spring and fall 2017 seasons.

This lackluster response might mean that "investors expected someone with a slightly different professional background, and more meaningful track record in apparel and the fashion industry", Chen Grazutis, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence said, but "that doesn't mean he can't be very successful in this role".

Larsson took up the role of CEO in 2015 after Lauren, who was then 75 years old, stepped aside following almost five decades at the helm.

- Information for this article was contributed by Jenn Zhao of Bloomberg News.

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