Gap names supply chain exec to lead Old Navy
- Gap Inc. has appointed Sonia Syngal to head up its Old Navy unit effective immediately, the company announced on Wednesday.
- Syngal, a 12-year Gap Inc. veteran, previously served as senior vice president of Old Navy’s international division until 2013, when she was tapped to lead Gap Inc.’s enterprise-wide global supply chain efforts.
- Jill Stanton, who served as interim leader for Old Navy, will serve as a strategic advisor as Syngal transitions into her new role. Stanton stepped in to guide Old Navy after previous President Stefan Larsson resigned last September to take over as Ralph Lauren CEO.
Gap Inc. is shuffling its executive ranks in the aftermath of a disappointing fourth quarter which saw revenue slip 7% to $4.38 billion from $4.71 billion over the previous year.
In addition to Syngal, Gap Inc. also promoted two other veteran staffers: Michael Yee will serve as executive vice president of Gap Inc.’s global supply chain, sourcing and production, while Shawn Curran was named executive vice president of global supply chain logistics and product operations, replacing Syngal.
Speaking to analysts on a February conference call following the Q4 earnings report, Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck said the company must bring its products to market more quickly to compete in today's apparel environment.
“It's fascinating as you look at how the Fashion Week activities have played out over the last couple of weeks,” Peck said. “A lot of articles out there about how brands are now making product available on runway immediately to their consumers. We did that in a small way also in Banana Republic. To me what that illustrates is the increasing clock speed inside of this business. How fast trends at the high end of the market disseminate down into the mass market. And it's against that backdrop of increasing clock speed, increasing the pace of this business, that we've been making very significant changes in our product process.”
Syngal previously managed all aspects of global sourcing, logistics and product operations across all of Gap Inc.'s brands and channels. The company said that she has recently been working closely with Old Navy executives to overhaul the unit's product-to-market model.
“How we continue to transform our product engine, focused on balancing amazing product with operational excellence, will be key to unlocking Old Navy’s next phase of growth,” Syngal said in a press release announcing her new role.
Syngal has her work cut out for her. Old Navy’s same-store sales were flat during the holiday period, following a 5% increase in Q4 2014. Same-store sales dropped 6% at Gap’s flagship brand and plummeted 10% at Banana Republic. Peck blamed the declines on apparel design missteps that he said have since been corrected.
For fiscal 2016, Gap forecasts earnings in a range of $2.20 to $2.25 per share, down from $2.43 per share in 2015 and significantly below average analyst estimates of $2.43 per share.
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