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February 21, 2018updated 12 Apr 2021 2:22pm

Gap brand chief steps down

US specialty retailer Gap Inc has revealed Jeff Kirwan, president and CEO of its namesake brand, is to leave the company after agreeing with CEO Art Peck, that now is an "appropriate time for a change in leadership".

By Beth Wright

US speciality retailer Gap Inc has revealed Jeff Kirwan, president and CEO of its namesake brand, is to leave the company after agreeing with CEO Art Peck, that now is an “appropriate time for a change in leadership”.

Kirwan, who has been in the role since December 2014, has also served as president of Gap Inc, China and SVP of stores and store operations at the company’s Old Navy division.

“Under Jeff’s leadership we made significant progress on the operating model of Gap brand,” says Peck. “We are faster and more responsive than ever before, we radically improved quality and fit, and we centred the brand on the aesthetic that our customers love: casual, optimistic and American. We have also seen the results of exceptional marketing and customer engagement reflected in increased traffic, improved sales and the strength of the digital business.”

But while Peck is “pleased” with the progress made in brand health and product quality, he adds it has not “achieved the operational excellence and accelerated profit growth that we know is possible at Gap brand.”

“As we move into the brand’s next phase of development, Jeff and I agreed it was an appropriate time for a change in leadership,” he adds.

As a result, a search is now underway for a new president of the Gap brand.

In the interim, Brent Hyder, current Gap EVP for global talent and sustainability will oversee the brand. Prior to his current role, Hyder served as COO at Gap brand and has also served as VP and general manager of Gap Japan KK, leading all aspects of the Gap Inc. business in Japan.

Gap increased its full-year earnings guidance after booking its fourth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales growth in November, but one analyst was less positive – claiming it was simply “the same old story” with Old Navy driving group performance.

Gap ups FY guidance but Old Navy remains in the driving seat

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