Analysts say the departure of Gap Inc CFO Simmons is not a surprise "given the transition Gap is going through"

Analysts say the departure of Gap Inc CFO Simmons is not a surprise "given the transition Gap is going through"

Struggling US speciality retailer Gap Inc has revealed its executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) Sabrina Simmons is to leave the company next year – a move analysts say comes as no surprise given the company's ongoing transition.

Simmons, which has been with the retailer for 15 years, will remain with Gap until the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

"Throughout her tenure, Sabrina has been one of our most passionate and respected leaders," says Gap CEO, Art Peck. "She was critical in establishing Gap Inc's capital structure framework and maintaining operating discipline across the enterprise, both of which have delivered significant value to our shareholders."

"Since I assumed the CEO role two years ago, Sabrina has been an instrumental partner in helping the company transition to a new leadership team. With that period of transition behind us, Sabrina and I agreed that this was an appropriate time for a change in the organisation and for her to pursue the next chapter in her career."

Since joining Gap in 2001, Simmons has progressed through positions of increasing responsibility from vice president and treasurer to executive vice president. She has served as the company's CFO since late 2007.

"I feel very fortunate to have spent a meaningful part of my career at Gap Inc, and I'll always be grateful to the Fisher family, to my colleagues, and to my team for the opportunities I've had with the company," she adds.

"We believe the departure was a mutual decision between Art Peck and Ms Simmons," notes FBR & Co analyst Susan Anderson.

"This was not necessarily a surprise given the transition Gap is going through. After Mr Peck became CEO two years ago, the company began an initiative to transition to a new leadership team. We believe Ms Simmons was well liked by the investment community and has done an amazing job in her nine years at Gap."

Anderson adds she expects the company's financial strategies to stay the same, and for a new CFO to be announced before the end of the fiscal year.

Last month the San Fransisco-based retailer revealed it is to shutter all eight of its Banana Republic stores in the UK, as part of previously announced plans to close 75 Old Navy and Banana Republic stores outside North America in a bid to reposition itself for long-term growth. During the first quarter, comparable sales at Banana Republic tumbled 11%.

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