NEW YORK — Michael J. Newman has been named vice chairman of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.
He succeeds Peter Strom, the behind-the-scenes businessman whom Ralph Lauren described Monday as his “alter ego.”
The appointment is effective April 1, 1995.
Strom, 65, will take a post as senior adviser to Polo. He had denied rumors recently that he would soon retire, but he also cut his ownership stake in the company from 10 percent to 7 percent during Polo’s refinancing deal with Goldman, Sachs this August.
Newman, 49, has been with the company since 1987, most recently as president and chief operating officer of the Polo Ralph Lauren men’s company. He will retain those duties.
As vice chairman, Newman will be in charge of day-to-day operations for sales, finance, production, retail, licensing and related departments for Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. He will report to Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive officer.
Before Polo, Newman had been senior vice president of finance for Kayser-Roth Apparel.
The news quashes reports that former Macy’s president Roger Farah might take a position at Polo. Farah now appears to be eyeing the top job at Woolworth’s, among other options.
Newman’s appointment is at a time when Polo could be mulling an eventual move to go public. It got a $135 million cash infusion from the Goldman, Sachs deal, but the designer said at the time that he prefers to stay private.
The firm has been pursuing more international business, including opening about a dozen retail stores in Europe next year.
Lauren said Newman’s experiencewill be valuable as the firm explores new opportunities.
Strom has been partners with Lauren since 1974. He was named vice chairman in 1991. Earlier he was with Norman Hilton Clothing Co. for 20 years.
“Peter Strom has been my partner, alter ego and dear friend for more than 20 years, and his contributions to the success of this company cannot be overstated,” said Lauren.

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