Darren Walker, president and chief executive officer of the Ford Foundation, has been nominated as an independent director for election at Ralph Lauren Corp.’s annual shareholders’ meeting on July 30.
The company also said Joyce F. Brown, president of Fashion Institute of Technology, and Robert C. Wright, senior adviser at Lee Equity Partners LLC and former vice chairman of the board of General Electric Co. after 19 and 13 years of service on the Lauren board, respectively, will not stand for reelection for their terms set to expire at the end of July.
“When I met Darren in the fall, his strength of character, diverse experience and deep passion for positively impacting the world were powerfully apparent — and I knew we would deeply benefit from his perspective on our board,” said Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief creative director. “We look forward to working with him and the rest of our board as we continue to build a company that endures, thrives and makes a difference in the world for decades to come. I would like to thank both Joyce and Robert for their significant contributions and years of dedication and leadership to the company.”
Patrice Louvet, president and ceo of Ralph Lauren, added, “Darren’s nomination comes at a critical moment for global business, and we believe he will not only add to the wealth of our existing expertise, but bring new perspectives as we deliver value for all of our stakeholders around the world.”
Walker has served as president and ceo of the Ford Foundation since September 2013. He chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, co-chairs NYC Census 2020 and serves on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Forward Commission. Earlier, he was with The Rockefeller Foundation.
Walker co-chairs New York City’s Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers, and serves on the U.N. International Labour Organization Commission on the Future of Work. He also serves on the boards of PepsiCo and several arts and culture institutions such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
“I have long admired Ralph and the Ralph Lauren Corp., and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to join the company’s board of directors,” Walker said. “Ralph Lauren is an iconic purpose-driven industry leader, and I welcome the opportunity to contrite to the company’s continued success.”
Currently there are 13 members on Lauren’s board of directors.