Ralph Lauren shares tumble 10%; CEO Larsson leaving company

Ralph Lauren shares dropped more than 10 percent on Thursday in premarket trading after the company announced Stefan Larsson is departing as president and CEO on May 1.

"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 on Thursday.

"However, we have found that we have different views on how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business. After many conversations with one another, and our Board of Directors, we have agreed to part ways. I am grateful for what Stefan has contributed during his time with us, setting us in the right direction with the Way Forward Plan," he said.

The company said a search for a new CEO will be conducted.

The company also said it will continue to execute its Way Forward Plan announced in June 2016. Chief Financial Officer Jane Nielsen will lead the execution of the plan until a new CEO joins the company.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said he thinks two of Ralph Lauren's issues are that the brand has become to "too ubiquitous and diffuse" and that consumer tastes and sensibilities have changed.

"As much as Ralph Lauren should be respected for his significant achievements, and his undeniable design talent, we are concerned by the orthodoxy of his leadership, under which questioning and fresh thinking are relatively rare. This, in our view, is not the way to reinvent a brand that has clearly lost its way," he said.

Ralph Lauren also reported quarterly earnings on Thursday with EPS above estimates. Its 2017 guidance was unchanged.