Updated from 8:45 a.m. EST with additional detail
Ralph Lauren (RL - Get Report) stock was down 11.45% to $77.37 on heavy trading volume early Thursday afternoon after the retailer announced that CEO Stefan Larsson is leaving due to disagreements about how to transform the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business.
"Stefan and I share a love and respect for the DNA of this great brand, and we both recognize the need to evolve," Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer, said in a statement.
"However, we have found that we have different views on how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business," Lauren continued.
After weeks of attempting to find common ground, Larsson and the company mutually agreed to part ways, Larsson said on this morning's earnings call. Larsson will leave on May 1, at which point CFO Jane Nielsen will lead the company until a new CEO is chosen.
The first CEO hired from outside the company, Larsson was tasked with revitalizing a brand plagued by steep discounts and declining sales at department stores.
He instituted a turnaround strategy, called the Way Forward Plan, and cut jobs, closed stores and made a number of management changes.
"None of this changes how proud I am about the progress we've made against the goals I laid out in the Way Forward Plan," Larsson said on this morning's earnings call.
The company will continue to implement the Way Forward Plan under Nielsen's leadership, and expects to return to revenue growth in fiscal 2019.
Additionally, the New York City-based company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the fiscal 2017 third quarter this morning.
Before the market open, the company posted adjusted earnings of $1.86 per share, topping analysts' estimates of $1.64 per share. Revenue fell 12% to $1.71 billion but was slightly higher than analysts' projections of $1.70 billion.
For fiscal 2017, the company maintained its guidance for a low-double digit decline in revenue. Ralph Lauren expects revenue to be down mid-teens in the fourth quarter.
The company anticipates $400 million in restructuring charges and an additional $150 million in inventory charges, to be realized by the end of fiscal 2017.
Already today, almost 11.4 million shares have been traded vs. the stock's average trading volume of roughly 1.2 million shares a day.