Gap CEO Sonia Syngal steps down as sales continue to decline
Gap Inc. has announced the departure of president and chief executive officer Sonia Syngal.
The company said in a release that effective immediately, Bob Martin, the company's current executive chairman of the board, will serve as Gap Inc. president and chief executive officer on an interim basis. Mayo Shattuck will continue to serve as lead independent director.
Additionally, the company also announced that Horacio “Haio” Barbeito will join the Gap leadership team as president and chief executive officer of Old Navy.
“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,” said Syngal.
“With an exceptional and industry-leading CEO for Old Navy now appointed, I am 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 added.
Gap board executive chairman Bob Martin named interim CEO
“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,” said Martin.
The company added that Martin is a 40-year industry veteran with extensive retail experience at corporations including Dillard’s Inc. and Walmart where he served as CEO of its International division.
He has served on the Gap Inc. board since 2002, as lead independent director from 2003 to 2015, and as executive chairman since 2020.
Horacio Barbeito to Serve as Old Navy president and CEO
Barbeito, the company further said, will join Old Navy on August 1, 2022.
“Haio is a true multi-disciplined retail leader who shares our vision of bringing the democracy of style and service to millions of Old Navy customers, leveraging our greatest assets – our people and our products,” said Martin.
Barbeito most recently served as president and CEO of Walmart Canada where he led more than 70,000 associates and drove significant growth in the online business.
During his 26-year career at Walmart, he served in a variety of leadership roles across merchandising, marketing, supply chain and store operations with global experience in five countries.
He has served in CEO roles at Walmart for 10 years, first as president and CEO of Walmart Argentina and Chile before taking the role as CEO of Walmart Canada where he has spearheaded a modernization effort to grow that market’s omnichannel business.
Gap provides an update on second quarter trading
The company is expecting net sales in the second quarter to decline in the approximately high-single digit range.
The company continues to navigate margin headwinds and still expects to incur an estimated 50 million dollars of transitory incremental air freight expense in the quarter as well as inflationary costs on raw materials and freight. In addition, it has taken a more aggressive approach to assortment balancing resulting in increased promotional activity during the quarter, which it expects will have a negative impact on gross margin in the quarter.
Furthermore, the company now anticipates adjusted operating margin percentage to be zero to slightly negative.
The company will report second quarter results on August 25, 2022.