Where does Gap go next as CEO Sonia Syngal departs?
Sonia Syngal is out as CEO of Gap Inc.
Ms. Syngal, who stepped down from her position and from the board, effective immediately, will leave the company after a brief transition.
She thanked the company’s employees, co-founders Doris and Don Fisher and Gap’s board in her departure statement. Ms. Syngal talked about leading the company through a time of “unprecedented challenges.”
“Gap Inc. and its dedicated teams have seized change as an opportunity, restructured for future growth, crystallized unique brand identities rooted in cultural relevance and fiercely chased transformation,” wrote Ms. Syngal.
Bob Martin, executive chairman of the board, will replace Ms. Syngal on an interim basis as president and CEO until a permanent successor can be found. Mr. Martin has decades of retail experience including serving as CEO of Walmart’s international business.
Gap also said that it has named Horacio “Haio” Barbeito as president and CEO of Old Navy. Mr. Barbeito is a 26-year veteran at Walmart. He most recently served as president and CEO of Walmart Canada where he led the effort to grow its omnichannel capabilities and sales.
“We are thrilled for Haio to bring his authentic leadership style to the team, backed by a strong track record of delivering growth through challenging times at complex global organizations,” said Mr. Martin in a statement. “Particularly in this environment, Haio’s sincere customer empathy, operational excellence, and passion for product and marketing innovation, will fuel Old Navy’s competitive strengths on its path to $10 billion, rooted in fun, family, fashion and value.”
The retailer has had a tough time of it in 2022. Its first quarter same-store sales were down 14 percent year-over-year with store sales falling 10 percent and online dropping 17 percent. Gap posted a net loss of 44 cents a share during the period.
Things are not looking bright for the second quarter, either. Gap said it is expecting that net sales for its second quarter will be down in the high single-digit range. It continues to deal with margin pressure as rising costs for freight and raw materials weigh on results. The company has also increased its promotional activity to optimize its inventory positions, which will have a further negative impact on its gross margins.
- Gap Inc. Announces CEO Sonia Syngal to Step Down and the Appointment of Horacio “Haio” Barbeito as President and CEO of Old Navy – Gap Inc.
- Can Old Navy’s boss lead a turnaround at Gap Inc.? – RetailWire
- Gap Inc. Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2022 Results and Provides Updated Fiscal 2022 Outlook – Gap Inc.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will it take to fix Gap Inc.? How should its turnaround strategy affect the company’s search for a new CEO?