The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) announced on Wednesday afternoon that long-time CEO and chairman of the board Glenn Murphy was resigning on February 1, 2015. Murphy will be replaced as CEO by digital division head Art Peck. Murphy has served as Gap’s chairman and CEO since July 2007, and was a key player in launching turnaround that has started to lose steam in the last couple of quarters.
Bob Fisher, son of the original founders of The Gap, will become non-executive chairman.
In a rare interview with Harvard Business School that was published online earlier this month, (it has since been taken down) value investor Seth Klarman spoke at length about his investment process, philosophy and the changes value investors have had to overcome during the past decade. Klarman’s hedge fund, the Boston-based Baupost has one of Read More
Statement from Glenn Murphy
In a conference call with following the announcement Wednesday, Murphy said it was a personal decision to retire because he couldn’t commit to stay at the position for the next several years. Murphy did say he believes that Peck will be an excellent successor.
“I think this is a good day at The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS). The best of this business is ahead of it,” Murphy said in his departure speech. “This is a future CEO who knows our culture.”
More on Art Peck
Peck joined The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) in 2005. Since then, Peck he has served in a range of operational roles, including as the president of Gap’s outlet division and the North America division. Recently Peck has been overseeing new innovations focusing on shoppers that jump back and forth from their smartphones and other mobile devices to the store.
Peck, the current president of its growth, innovation and digital division, is also slated to become a member of the board of directors. The firm noted that it had considered several outside candidates, but Peck rose to the top of the list.
Gap turnaround losing steam
Following several years of poor performance following the financial crisis, The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) undertook a turnaround in early 2012 upping its marketing and offering trendier merchandise. Glenn Murphy also led the way in expanding outside the U.S., and the firm announced earlier this year it plans to triple its sales in China in three years as it continues its rapid growth. Recently, however, sales have slowed down a good bit as some of the new trends like brightly colored jeans are fizzling out.