Longtime Ralph Lauren executive vice chairman Roger Farah is to retire at the end of this month, after 14 years with the US apparel business. 

Farah, who is credited with turning the company into a global fashion powerhouse, most recently helping the company assume direct control of its key regions and merchandise categories.

He stepped down as president and COO in November last year, and has since shifted his focus from day-to-day management to strategic projects and business development, as well as advising the chairman and mentoring and counselling the management team.

Speaking on a conference call last week, Ralph Lauren COO Jacki Nemerov said: "In partnership with Ralph, he has guided the company to a period of tremendous growth in sales and profits.

"In doing so, he has built an impressive team and his characteristic balance of prudence and creativity is a legacy that is ingrained in our culture, and certainly in everyone he has mentored over the years."

Following Farah's retirement at the end of May, the company's office of the chairman will be comprised of: chairman and CEO Ralph Lauren; Nemerov; Chris Peterson, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and CFO; and Valérie Hermann, president of Ralph Lauren luxury collections.

Farah will remain on the board until the company's 2014 annual meeting of stockholders in August.

The news came as Ralph Lauren booked a double-digit hike in fourth-quarter profit, but issued what one analyst described as "concerning" revenue guidance for fiscal 2015.