CHANGES AT THE GAP               

By Todd Horwitz 

GAP CEO to Step Down

Gap chief executive Art Peck is stepping down ahead of the company’s spinoff of its powerhouse Old Navy Line, the company announced Thursday. Peck, who has been at the company for nearly 15 years and has served as CEO since 2015, will be replaced after a brief transition by interim chief executive Robert Fisher, a son of the Gap’s founders and currently the company’s non-executive board chairman. Fisher has been with Gap for 35 years.

Peck, among the highest-paid chief executives in retail, has presided over several years of sales declines at the Gap brand. Gap’s stock lost more than half its value during Peck’s tenure and is trading at around $18 a share. Peck’s compensation for 2018 was $20.7 million, filings show.

“As the board evaluates potential successors, our focus will be on strong leadership candidates with operational excellence to drive greater efficiency, speed and profitability,” Fisher said in the statement announcing the leadership change.

The news came the same day Gap reported that in the most recent quarter, global sales at its namesake stores open at least 12 months dropped 7% compared with the same three months last year. Sales slipped 3% for its Banana Republic brand and 4% for Old Navy. That was in contrast to the same quarter last year in which both of those chains reported a sales uptick.

Gap’s leadership shakeup is the latest in a series of CEO shuffles. Top executives at several companies, including Under Armour, We Work and McDonald’s, have stepped down for reasons ranging from flagging corporate performance to personal foibles.

Todd “Bubba” Horwitz