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Gap Back at Square One as It Looks to Replace Fired CEO

  • Apparel retailer may look outside its ranks for next leader
  • Last two CEOs have failed to fix persistent operational woes
A person walks in front of a Gap Inc. store in Corte Madera, California.

A person walks in front of a Gap Inc. store in Corte Madera, California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

When Sonia Syngal took over as chief executive officer at Gap Inc. in early 2020, she inherited a business with lagging sales and poor inventory management. Just over 2 1/2 years later, she leaves the company in a similar state. 

The owner of Old Navy, Athleta and Banana Republic now must find a leader who can refresh the company across its brands and revive sales while competing with fast-fashion rivals that have reshaped the apparel landscape. That’ll be no easy feat amid the highest US inflation in decades and a pandemic that can change buying patterns on a dime. Add in shares that are down more than 70% in the last 12 months, and it’s clear the new CEO will be entering a uniquely pressure-packed situation.