The new position was created specifically for Larsson, who starts June 3 and will report to PVH CEO and Chairman Emanuel Chirico.
“It’s important to PVH’s future to be forward-thinking in all aspects of our business. With Stefan’s strategic focus, industry knowledge and global perspective, he is a strong addition to our leadership team.” Chirico said in a statement. “With the five-year succession planning that we’re doing now, we’ll have the opportunity for a seamless transition with a cohesive and aligned vision. As president, Stefan will be by my side to learn our business, our culture and our team.”
Larsson comes to PVH after a career at some of fashion’s biggest brands. He served as CEO of Ralph Lauren from 2015 until 2017. Larsson’s approach to refreshing Ralph Lauren was well-received in the market, but he exited in May 2017, citing notable creative differences with Ralph Lauren himself. Since then, Larsson has been sought after by other brands needing a turnaround, most recently entering talks to become the next CEO of J.Crew before passing on the position.
Prior to Ralph Lauren, Larsson served as global president of Old Navy from 2012 until 2015, and he also spent nearly 15 years at fast fashion giant H&M.
At PVH, the company’s brands generated about $9.7 billion in revenue last year, but retail sales have seen sluggish growth. PVH-owned Calvin Klein reported disappointing sales numbers under Creative Director Raf Simons last year, prompting the brand to implement a number of structural changes, terminating Simons’s role as creative director and shutting down the runway line indefinitely to expand retail experiences and collaborations with other designers under its newly announced “InCKubator” initiative.
Simeon Siegel, a senior analyst at Nomura Instinet, said Larsson is widely considered to be a “saviour of retail.”
“At its current size, Calvin Klein is one of the largest brands in the history of time. Figuring out what that means for growth and what the ultimate brand size should look like may be the more relevant question than trying to push domestic growth for growth’s sake,” Siegel said. “It will be interesting to see how far the new Tommy Hilfiger opportunity can stretch. It would seem Larsson’s first task will be to gain a strong awareness of where each brand fits in their own lifecycles and then determining when a focus on growth versus profitability is appropriate.”
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