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Longleaf Partners Comments on Ralph Lauren

- By Holly LaFon

Ralph Lauren (RL), (-15%; -0.62%), the upscale retail brand, declined following the departure of CEO Stefan Larsson after less than two years at the helm. Our case was built on the potential for Larsson and Lauren to form a complimentary business and creative team, and the early results were promising as they cut costs and rationalized unnecessary stock keeping units. But when these two leaders were not able to coexist, a big part of our case changed. Rather than wait to see if the operating plan could continue without Larsson's guidance, we sold our position. The disappointing outcome had only a minor impact on our return during our seven month investment period because of the operating progress the company made in a short period and because we have begun sizing new investments at less than a full 5% position while we gain more in-depth knowledge of the business and people as an owner.

From Longleaf Partners Fund first quarter 2017 commentary.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.