Gap Names Old Navy Exec Sonia Syngal its New CEO
Gap Inc. has tapped its Old Navy chief, Sonia Syngal, to be CEO, effective March 23, the company announced yesterday. Syngal has been leading Old Navy’s business since 2016, and has been with Gap Inc. since 2004. She will also be joining Gap’s board of directors later this month, the company said. The announcement comes after Gap earlier this year called off plans to split Old Navy into a separate public company. The San Francisco-based retailer announced in November that Art Peck was stepping down from the CEO position he had held since 2015.
Total Retail's Take: It's not surprising that the Gap Inc. board of directors would look to Old Navy's leadership team for a potential replacement for Peck. The off-price apparel brand has been a bright spot for Gap Inc., helping to compensate for the struggles of other brands in the company portfolio, including Gap and Banana Republic. As for Syngal, she brings significant familiarity with the Gap Inc. business into the top role. She has been with the company for 16 years, and has been a key figure in driving Old Navy's success. Syngal led Old Navy from $7 billion to $8 billion in sales in just three years; expanded its North American presence to more than 1,200 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico; and scaled its e-commerce site to the No. 4 largest apparel site in the U.S. Whether she will be able to carry that momentum over to the other brands in the Gap Inc. portfolio remains to be seen. It certainly won't be easy given the current state of the specialty apparel retail sector.