Ralph Lauren CEO Making A Quick Exit After Butting Heads With The Real Ralph Lauren

Image courtesy of shinya

Just 16 months or so after Ralph Lauren (the person) stepped down from the top spot at Ralph Lauren (the company), his replacement is already on his way out the door.

The company announced today that CEO Stefan Larsson will be leaving the job on May 1, with $10 million in severance and health benefits over the next two years.

While the 77-year-old founder says he’s “grateful” for what Larsson has contributed in his time with the company, the two men didn’t see eye-to-eye on when it came to how to give the 50-year-old brand a much-needed boost.

“Stefan and I share a love and respect for the DNA of this great brand, and we both recognize the need to evolve,” said Lauren, who has remained with his namesake company as its Creative Director and Chairman. “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.”

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Ralph Lauren has been trying to reinvigorate its image after years of heavy discounting and an over reliance on the also struggling department-store industry, Bloomberg notes, as its customer base ages and millennials shop elsewhere.

Lauren says he and the board are committed to carrying out its “Way Forward Plan,” introduced in June by Larsson in an effort to refocus the company on what made it popular in the first place.

That plan also includes reducing excess inventory and increasing “quality of sales,” the company said in its quarterly earnings report, as well as lowered headcount and store closures that are already underway.