// Gap CEO and President Sonia Syngal is stepping down, effective immediately
// The company said it expects net sales in the fiscal second quarter to decline roughly in the high-single digit range
Gap chief executive Sonia Syngal is stepping down, effective immediately after just over two years into the role the company announced, as the retailer battles supply chain challenges and slumping sales.
Syngal will stay at the business during a brief transition period, and the company’s current executive chairman of the board, Bob Martin will serve as interim president and CEO, Gap said.
Syngal said in a statement that she is “thankful to have the board’s support in stepping down, ushering in a new opportunity for fresh perspective and rejuvenated leadership to carry Gap Inc. forward.”
Syngal was previously the leader of Gap’s Old Navy business before she took over as CEO in March 2020, just days before the pandemic began spreading across the U.S.
Prior to this she had been with the retailer since 2004.
“Leading this great company and our 100,000-strong employees since 2020, through unprecedented challenges for our industry, and society, has been an immense honour. Through it all, Gap Inc. and its dedicated teams have seized change as an opportunity, restructured for future growth, crystallised unique brand identities rooted in cultural relevance and fiercely chased transformation,” Syngal added.
The company also announced that Horacio “Haio” Barbeito will join the Gap leadership team as president and chief executive officer of Old Navy.
Martin said: “My fellow board members and I want to thank Sonia for her steadfast leadership and many contributions to Gap Inc. during her 18 years with us.
“Most notably, amidst significant global disruption, social unrest and economic instability, Sonia had an immediate impact as Gap Inc. CEO, establishing a clear strategic direction and cultural identity that has united this global enterprise as a force for good with powerful brands poised to stand the test of time.”
The retailer in recent months has grappled with supply chain obstacles that have left it with jumbled up sizes and styles that don’t fit what its customers are looking for. In the latest quarter, an imbalanced mix of clothing sizes, following a push into plus-size styles, coupled with an uptick in price-lowering promotions put a dent in Old Navy’s performance, specifically.
As the business grapples supply chain challenges and shifts in consumer spending, the company said it expects net sales in the fiscal second quarter to decline roughly in the high-single digit range, relatively in line with its prior expectations.
Gap said it continues to navigate high costs in transportation and raw materials that are putting a dent in profit margins. In addition, it has taken a more aggressive approach in discounting, which should also have a negative impact on profits.
The retailer is expected to report final second-quarter financial results on August 25.
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