Weeks after Ralph Lauren announced the unexpected impending exit of chief executive Stefan Larsson, the retailer has tapped Vice Media’s Jonathan Bottomley for its chief marketing officer starting April 3.
Mr Bottomley comes to the newly created role from Virtue, Vice Media’s in house agency where he ran strategy for four months. Prior to that, he served in the same role at advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
Meanwhile, the New York-based company known for its preppy Americana also named Tom Mendenhall brand president at Men’s Polo, Purple Label and Double RL. Mr Medenhall who joins from Tom Ford and who previously worked at teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, is scheduled to start next month.
“Both Jonathan and Tom bring a fresh perspective and incredible depth of brand experience to Ralph Lauren,” founder Ralph Lauren, said. “They each have impressive track records and we are looking forward to welcoming them into our leadership as our evolution continues.”
The newly minted roles, aimed at strengthening Ralph Lauren’s C-suite, come weeks after the retailer announced the abrupt impending exit of Mr Larsson after less than two years at the top job following clashes with the company’s 77-year old founder.
Like other retailers, the company faces increased competition from fast-fashion brands like Zara and H&M, which mimic catwalk looks for a fraction of the cost, as well as online retailers. And under Mr Larsson’s leadership Ralph Lauren unveiled its “Way Forward Plan” — cutting jobs, shutting under-performing stores and removing three layers of management — aimed at returning focus to its core products and reviving its fortunes.
Ralph Lauren shares were 0.6 per cent lower at $78.72 and have declined 13 per cent so far this year.