Stefan Larsson to join Old Navy as Global Brand President
Completing a global search that began in February, Gap Inc. announced that Stefan Larsson, a veteran of nearly 15 years with the successful fashion retailer H&M, will become the first global brand president for Old Navy. Larsson will join the company by October. The announcement comes as Gap Inc. prepares to open its first Old Navy store outside North America, in Japan, in July.
“Stefan is a rising star within apparel retail, with proven experience in the value sector. He's tackled some of the most complex challenges in our industry and has a deep appreciation for the need to balance great product and operational excellence,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap Inc. “Stefan understands Old Navy's unique brand positioning and significant potential for future growth in North America and around the world.”
Over nearly 15 years, Larsson was part of the team responsible for growing H&M, with revenues increasing from about $3 billion to about $17 billion and operations expanding from 12 to 44 countries. Larsson most recently served as head of Global Sales for H&M with responsibility for about 2,300 stores worldwide. His role encompassed all aspects of the business that are customer-facing: product and visual merchandising, store operations, store design and development, inventory management, and customer service.
Previously, Larsson was responsible for successfully orchestrating the company's global expansion by leading real estate, store design and store construction. Other roles included overseeing the launch of H&M on the West Coast of the United States, and spending nearly seven years with the company in numerous global roles with responsibility for product, including merchandising, assortment development, planning and production for the company.
Larsson said, “I'm passionate about the apparel industry, and I believe success starts with having amazing product in the ideal stores in each market. Few brands capture the loyalty of consumers like Old Navy, and it's incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to take this uniquely American and family-focused brand through its next phase of growth.”
Launched in 1994, Old Navy brings fun, fashion and value to the whole family. Customers quickly connected with the brand, as Old Navy became the first retailer to reach $1 billion in annual sales in less than four years of operation. At the end of fiscal year 2011, Old Navy operated 1,016 stores in North America, with net store sales of $5.04 billion.
“Given his accomplishments, product insights, and global outlook, Stefan's vast experience not only benefits Old Navy but will help Gap Inc. on multiple levels,” Murphy added. “He's a strong addition to our senior management team.”
Larsson joined H&M in 1998, after earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees in business and economics in Scandinavia.
Nancy Green, EVP & Chief Creative Officer, and Tom Sands, EVP of Stores andOperations, will continue to jointly lead Old Navy until Larsson joins the company later this year. Old Navy posted improved sales results in February and March, the first two months of the 2012 fiscal year.