Ralph Lauren Corp. intends to add Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc., to its board, and has also appointed Michael George, president and chief executive officer of Qurate Retail Inc. to its board, effective today. The board intends to nominate Ahrendts for election at the annual stockholders’ meeting in August.
These two appointments bring the total number of directors on the company’s board to 13.
“I am delighted to welcome Angela and Mike to the board of directors,” said Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer. “Angela is an industry leader and innovator with deep expertise in luxury retail and an outstanding track record of growing global brands. Mike brings invaluable experience as a senior leader and board member, helping companies drive consumer engagement and growth. Their counsel will be incredibly valuable as we continue to build the future for our iconic brand.”
Patrice Louvet, president and ceo of Ralph Lauren, added, “Angela and Mike are among the most respected leaders in the business. They each have driven strong growth and created superior value at some of the best-known brands in retail, and I know we will benefit greatly from their experience and fresh perspective as we continue to elevate our brand; evolve our product, marketing and shopping experience; expand our digital and international presence, and increase productivity.”
Ahrendts, who has been at Apple Inc. since May, 2014, oversees strategy, real estate and development, and operations of Apple’s physical stores, online store and contact centers. Earlier she was with Burberry as ceo and a director on the board from 2006 to 2014, and led the company through a period of major global growth. Before that she was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne Inc. and earlier served as president of Donna Karan International.
“I have admired Ralph and been inspired by his pure global lifestyle vision for many years,” said Ahrendts. “It is an honor to join this board as he and Patrice continue to evolve and expand his incredible aesthetic.”
George was named president and ceo of Qurate Retail, Inc., a global video and e-commerce retailer whose brands include QVC, HSN, Zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements, in March. Earlier he was president and ceo of QVC Inc. for 12 years, where he helped transform the company into a global multiplatform retailer spanning multiple e-commerce, mobile and social platforms and 16 TV networks. Before that, George was chief marketing officer for Dell Inc., general manager of Dell’s U.S. consumer business and earlier a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. George serves on the boards of Qurate Retail Inc., Brinker International, the National Retail Federation and the National Constitution Center. He is also a member of CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion.
“I have long admired Ralph and the company, as they created one of the most influential and iconic brands in the world. I’m honored to have this opportunity to work with Ralph, Patrice and the board and I’m excited for the future of this truly innovative company.”
Louvet said in February that the company was making progress in turning Ralph Lauren into a digital-first brand.
“We are developing deeper knowledge of consumer behaviors and being more precise about how we engage specific consumer groups….In order to expand the brand’s reach globally and increase consumer demand, we are shifting to more digital and more social platforms with a focus on influencers and strategies that drive traffic to our e-commerce channels,” said Louvet in a conference call after disclosing third-quarter results. Lauren will disclose fourth-quarter results May 23.