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Gap names Sonia Syngal as new chief executive officer

Mar '20
Sonia Syngal. Pic: Gap Inc
Sonia Syngal. Pic: Gap Inc
Gap has announced that its board of directors has named Sonia Syngal, an accomplished retail leader and CEO of the portfolio’s Old Navy business since 2016, as the company’s chief executive officer, effective March 23, 2020. She will join the Gap board of directors. As the CEO, Syngal’s top priority will be strengthening the performance of the portfolio.

Syngal led Old Navy from $7B to $8B in sales in just three years, expanding its North American presence to more than 1,200 stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico, scaling its ecommerce site to the no. 4 largest apparel site in the US and building competitive omni-channel capabilities. Prior to that, she was executive vice president of global supply chain and product operations, responsible for managing Gap’s global supply chain and redefining a best-in-class product-to-market model for its portfolio of brands, according to a media statement by the company.

Since joining Gap in 2004, she has served in key leadership and general management roles including managing director for the company’s Europe business, senior vice president for Gap’s international division and international outlet division.

Prior to joining Gap, Syngal had a long career in Fortune 500 product companies, including Sun Microsystems where she led manufacturing operations, logistics, and supply chain management, and at Ford Motor where she held roles in product design, quality, and manufacturing engineering. She is a member of the Boys & Girls Club of America’s Board of Governors and serves on The Gap Foundation Board of Trustees.

“To lead the company into its next chapter, we sought a dynamic leader who could bring a deep respect for our customers and make the decisions necessary to deliver value from our portfolio of brands over the long term. Syngal has all of the characteristics and experiences needed to effectively execute against the work ahead. She is an excellent operator who drives innovation and decisive action, and she leads with both vision and heart,” Bob Fisher, interim Gap CEO and current chair of the Gap board of directors said.

“It’s an honour to build on this company’s rich heritage and lead our nearly 130,000 employees in transforming our business and operations to successfully compete in the future. I’m committed to fully realising the potential of our portfolio and the advantage of our scale, with a focus on strengthening the love that our millions of customers have for our brands. To do that, we must better prioritise initiatives and capabilities that will improve execution and drive value creation,” Syngal said.

The company also announced that board member Bobby Martin will take the role of executive chairman, effective March 23, 2020. Martin has extensive experience in the retail world, having served as president and CEO of Wal-Mart, as a former director at Dillard’s, and as a member of the Gap board of directors since 2002. His experiences will serve as a strong complement to Syngal’s, as they position the company to deliver value to our customers, employees and shareholders.

Two new members will join Gap’s board of directors; Elizabeth Smith and Amy Miles, effective April 1, 2020. Smith is the former CEO of Bloomin’ Brands, where she drove efforts to adapt to the changing consumer landscape by redefining convenience for the casual-dining segment. She currently serves as a director for Bloomin’ Brands and Hilton Worldwide, and previously served on the boards of Carter’s and Staples.

Miles served as CEO of Regal Entertainment beginning in 2009, overseeing one of the world’s largest theatre chains until 2018 when the company was acquired by Cineworld. Miles is also an experienced board member, currently serving on the boards of Norfolk Southern Corporation and ASM Global.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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