Gap to make change at the top
Gap Inc. announced yesterday that CEO Glenn Murphy, widely credited for righting the apparel retailer’s teetering ship since joining the company seven years ago, will step down on Feb. 1. Art Peck, the current president of Gap’s growth, innovation and digital division, will succeed Mr. Murphy as CEO.
In a press release to announce the change, Gap Inc. recounted Mr. Murphy’s accomplishments, including a six-year compounded annual growth rate on earning per share of 17 percent. The company also acquired new businesses and expanded globally from 10 countries to 50 today.
"Today, Gap Inc. is a formidable global fashion retailer with a strong foundation in place for long-term growth, therefore making this an appropriate inflection point for me to pass the baton to a leader who will take our portfolio of brands to even greater heights," Mr. Murphy said in a statement. "With consumer expectations rapidly evolving, Art is the right leader at the right time to build on our success and ensure a compelling experience for our customers across both our physical and digital channels."
Mr. Peck has held a number of roles for Gap since joining the company in 2005. In addition to being the architect of the Gap’s omni-channel strategy, he is also responsible for the company’s Athleta, Intermix and Pipelime brands. He previously ran Gap’s North American division as well as its Gap and Banana Republic outlet business.
"I’m passionate about product — at our core, we’re a product company," Mr. Peck told Bloomberg News. "And I’m really passionate about digital and physical coming together."
According to Women’s Wear Daily, Mr. Murphy’s decision to step down at the age of 52 is not a huge surprise and might suggest some tension in the company’s c-suite and boardroom. Despite his success at the company, Mr. Murphy is reported to have interviewed for and turned down the CEO job at Target. He was unwilling to make a long-term commitment to remain at the company, according to the publication.
Shares of Gap’s stock fell more than nine percent in extended trading after the change was announced.
- Gap Inc.’s Glenn Murphy to Pass Reins to Digital Leader Art Peck as Next Chief Executive Officer – Gap Inc.
- Gap CEO Murphy to retire, digital head Peck to take over – Reuters
- Gap Tumbles After Saying Murphy Will Step Down as CEO – Bloomberg News
- Gap’s New CEO Is Its Digital Guy – Bloomberg Businessweek
- Art Peck to Succeed Glenn Murphy at Gap – Women’s Wear Daily (sub. required)
What is your assessment of Glen Murphy’s tenure at Gap? What do you think are the major challenges facing Art Peck as he gets ready to take over the top job in February?