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Gap Seen Choosing Outsider CEO With Fresh Brand Vision to Lead Revival

  • Candidate likely external to the company, unlike past picks
  • New leader will ‘set the tone’ for the retailer’s future
    

    

Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg

Gap Inc.’s next chapter is resting on the appointment of a new chief executive officer to revive the iconic retailer and bring about a turnaround plan that may finally stick.

The company, without a permanent CEO since the ouster of Sonia Syngal in July, is in need of a leader with merchandising expertise, a brand vision and a solid leadership reputation. And after three of its last four chiefs — including Syngal — were chosen from the inside, an external candidate may be the best person for the job, according to executive-search experts and former employees.