San Francisco—In a move that emphasizes its global expansion plans, Gap Inc. announced Tuesday it plans to realign its organizational structure for its Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores by appointing a single global executive to head each.
The company, which has more than 3,200 stores in more than 40 countries, will be merging its North American, International, Online, Outlet and Franchise divisions under a single global executive for each brand at the start of its fiscal 2013.
“Our strong performance gives us the confidence to make this move to bring each brand together with the goal of gaining market share around the world and enhancing shareholder value,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman/ceo.
The changes, which will begin on Nov. 5, follow management shake-up last when that included firing designer Patrick Robinson.
Among the changes: Steve Sunnucks, president of Gap’s international division, will become global president of Gap, based in New York. Meanwhile, Mark Breitbard, senior product leader for Gap in the United States and Canada, will have an expanded role as president of Gap North America and will report to Sunnucks.
As for Art Peck, the Gap North America president who has been responsible for a resurgence in the brand, he will become president of the newly formed Innovation, Digital Strategy and New Brands Division, and will also take charge of the Athleta and Piperlime brands.
‘A Streamlined Corporate Structure Is a Positive’
Banana Republic’s president for North America, Jack Calhoun, will lead the brand globally. Julie Rosen, the top merchant for the brand, will take responsibility for North America while continuing to lead global product.
Stefan Larsson, who came from H&M to be global president at Old Navy, will be joined full-time by Jill Stanton, who will be responsible for all aspects of product design, development and production.
The Shanghai-based China team will be overseen by Murphy with Nancy Green, who’s in charge of Old Navy’s product, assuming a new role supporting China.
Finally, Toby Lenk, president of Gap’s Online, will leave the business in February.
Commenting that the “streamlined corporate structure is a positive that should help support long term global growth,” Randal Konik, retail analyst at Jefferies, noted, “Having a global executive head at each brand should help Gap to expand its international business in a way that best suits each concept.”
Gap Inc. has had a much more positive 2012 so far than 2011. Total net sales year-to-date have increased 6% to $9.71 billion with comparable store sales up 5% compared with a 3% decrease last year.
Moreover, Gap Inc.’s shares were recently up 1.2% to $36.72. The stock has nearly doubled this year, up 98%.