Stefan Larsson and Manny Chirico of PVH Corp.

Stefan Larsson is stepping into the corner office at PVH Corp. and will take on the role of chief executive officer from Manny Chirico on Feb. 1.

It’s a changing of the guards that’s been planned since Larsson, 46 and formerly ceo of Ralph Lauren Corp., took on the role of president at the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein parent 16 months ago.

The plan always was for Larsson to learn the business over a period of time from Chirico, 63. But his short tenure has been something of a trial by fire, with COVID-19 shutting down retail, prompting furloughs as well as lasting cost cuts and steep revenue drops, at PVH and across the industry.

PVH’s second-quarter revenues fell 33 percent to $1.58 billion as COVID-19 sent consumers home and the company — one of the few to even hazard guess for the rest of the year — projected its second-half revenues will be down by about 25 percent.

It will now be Larsson’s hand on the rudder as PVH steers a course that’s intended to set the company up to be even stronger as it comes out of the pandemic — whenever that is. 

“It has been a privilege to work side by side with Manny in recent months, to learn firsthand how he has built PVH into one of the world’s most admired fashion and lifestyle companies, and driven impressive growth,” Larsson said. “It is an honor to become the leader of this exceptional company, and as we move into a new chapter of growth for PVH, I look forward to continuing its evolution, building on our inherent strengths, getting closer to the consumer than ever before, and working with an incredible team.”

Chirico will remain as chairman, continuing to look out over the business he played a big role in transforming from a men’s dress shirt producer into a global fashion powerhouse and a key industry consolidator.  

PVH’s revenues tallied $9.9 billion last year, up from just $1.4 billion before the transformative 2003 acquisition of Calvin Klein.

“It has been an honor to work with the outstanding people at PVH for more than 25 years — 14 of those as ceo,” Chirico said. “With Stefan as our next ceo, we are well-positioned to navigate the rapidly changing retail landscape, drive brand relevance and meet the needs of our consumers, while positioning the company for long-term growth.

“Stefan’s global experience, consumer focus and high-performance track record — especially in this unprecedented time of disruption — are unparalleled assets for PVH to succeed in the ‘new normal’ that is taking shape across our industry,” he said. “I am confident in Stefan’s unique abilities to lead PVH in its next chapter of growth and I look forward to continuing our close partnership as chairman of the board.”

Before Larsson’s brief and rocky 18-month tenure at Ralph Lauren — where he crafted a business plan that was lauded, but clashed with the company’s founder — he was global president of Gap Inc.’s Old Navy division, enjoying a stretch with growing revenues and profits. Prior to that he spent 15 years at Hennes & Mauritz and was part of the team that helped the fast-fashion retailer grow sales from $3 billion to $17 billion in a global expansion.

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