Ralph Lauren steps down as company head

Luxury designer Ralph Lauren resigns as company boss but is expected to stay on as chief designer

World-renowned designer Ralph Lauren is to step down as the head of the luxury fashion company, international media reported.

Lauren, who founded the company nearly 50 years ago, will be replaced as chief executive in November by Stefan Larsson, president of Old Navy, the low-price clothes brand owned by Gap Inc.

Lauren, who will turn 76 in October, plans to stay on as the chief designer for the label, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, the news caused Ralph Lauren's shares to rise 3.9% in post-trading hours while shares in Gap fell by 3.4%.

The company well-known for its polo shirts - has expanded from selling clothes into the restaurant trade in recent years, making some $7.5bn in sales last year.

The 41- year-old Larsson led Old Navy from 2012 and has been credited with boosting sales, even as other Gap labels faltered. Before taking over Old Navy, he worked for the Swedish brand H&M for 15 years.

Lauren said his successor was "exceptionally talented" and would bring "a fresh and exciting global perspective" to the company.