Polo Promotes Meichner

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. promoted Wayne Meichner to president and chief operating officer of Polo's Retail Group.

NEW YORK — Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. promoted Wayne Meichner to president and chief operating officer of Polo’s Retail Group.

This story first appeared in the July 2, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Meichner was most recently president of Polo Ralph Lauren Retail Stores, and prior to joining Polo in 2002, had worked for Saks Fifth Avenue for 23 years, ultimately rising through the ranks to become the retailer’s executive vice president of merchandising.

In his new role at Polo, he replaced Jeff Sherman, who retired.

Meichner will now be in charge of managing and developing the company’s domestic retail concepts, from Ralph Lauren to Polo Factory, Rugby and RRL stores, as well as ralphlauren.com. In addition, he will oversee Polo Retail Group’s shared services support group.

Meichner said the new role allows him to “get involved in some new channels of distribution that I haven’t been in the past, whether it’s our outlet or our dot.com businesses, and hopefully help grow those businesses as well.”

He added that the majority of his career has been in the luxury sector, and at Polo, he has managed the full-priced retail business. With the promotion, he is taking on additional channels including the dot.com business, which he called a “huge engine for growth” for the company.

Meichner continues to report to Polo chairman and chief executive officer Ralph Lauren and president and chief operating officer Roger Farah.

According to Farah, Meichner will now oversee and manage the sales and support operations of the company’s growing store network. “His 30 years of experience in luxury merchandising and retail store operations is a compelling asset as we continue to invest in our direct-to-consumer operations around the world,” Farah said.

With Meichner’s move, Polo promoted Susie Coulter to president of Polo Ralph Lauren Retail Stores. Coulter was previously senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Ralph Lauren’s retail operations here and in Europe. In her new role, she will take over the management of Polo Ralph Lauren’s 59 domestic Ralph Lauren stores. Coulter, who joined Polo in 1998, reports to Meichner. “Susie’s proven track record of strong leadership and management skills has been an integral part of the success of our global retail operations,” Farah said.