Wayne Meichner to Exit Ralph Lauren

Joy Herfel has been promoted to group president of wholesale and retail for the Americas, a new position.

NEW YORK — Change continues to sweep through the top ranks at Ralph Lauren Corp.

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

WWD has learned that Wayne Meichner, president and chief operating officer of Ralph Lauren Retail Group, will be leaving the company, and that Joy Herfel has been promoted to group president of wholesale and retail for the Americas, a new position.

Herfel, a 25-year veteran of Ralph Lauren, has been group president of men’s wear and children’s wear since 2009. She has been responsible for all men’s brands, including Purple Label, RLX, golf and women’s golf and for all children’s brands.

Two other key changes shook the ranks last month. Valérie Hermann, former president and chief executive officer of Reed Krakoff, was tapped to be president of Ralph Lauren Luxury Collections, another new post. Hermann will join the company in April and report directly to Ralph Lauren, chairman and ceo. When Hermann was selected, Lauren noted that the luxury part of the business has grown to a point where it deserved its own focus. Hermann’s role will be an extensive one, giving her oversight of Black Label, Purple Label, fine jewelry, eyewear, timepieces, handbags, RRL and fragrance.

Also last month, Saks Fifth Avenue’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Denise Incandela, joined Ralph Lauren as president of global digital and global e-commerce, replacing Eric Korman.

In the fall there was another dramatic move. Jackwyn Nemerov was promoted to president and chief operating officer, succeeding Roger Farah, who became executive vice chairman. Nemerov is responsible for global merchandising, manufacturing and supply chain operations, as well as the company’s retail, wholesale and licensing businesses worldwide. At that time Lauren formed an office of the chairman, led by him, that included Farah, Nemerov and Christopher Peterson, executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer. Hermann is now also part of the office of the chairman.

A spokesman for Ralph Lauren said Meichner’s departure is months away, possibly six. He had no information on Meichner’s plans. Meichner joined Polo in 2002 and had worked for Saks Fifth Avenue for 23 years, ultimately rising through the ranks to become the retailer’s executive vice president of merchandising.