After taking over as interim Old Navy chief in March, as Sonia Syngal moved up from that role to become parent company Gap Inc.'s CEO, Nancy Green is keeping the job permanently, according to a company press release released Thursday.
She was previously the discount brand's chief creative officer, after leading the company's Athleta activewear label for six years. Before that she had been at Old Navy in various roles. Prior to her years at Gap Inc., Green was CEO of Shabby Chic and led Williams-Sonoma's Pottery Barn.
After a bungled spin-off attempt last year and Gap's tie-up with Yeezy this year, Green's appointment is a steady and unsurprising move from the company, considering that she has already helped shepherd its best performers. Gap has said that Old Navy, its largest brand, and Athleta, its fastest growing, are key to its growth strategy.
Old Navy has been Gap Inc.'s shining star for years, posting stellar results as the company's namesake and Banana Republic brands steadily diminished. But it hasn't been immune to headwinds in apparel sales, seen most starkly last year when the brand consistently faltered. The troubles imperiled the company's plans to spin off Old Navy into a separate company, and the idea was finally nixed early this year.
Despite all that, thanks to its scale and relative strength, Old Navy represents the company's best hope, especially with its highly successful Athleta brand still playing catch up in the athleisure space. The brand even managed to benefit from a highly disrupted back-to-school season this year thanks to their kids and baby assortment, according to Wells Fargo research.
"We continue to believe that [Old Navy] is well-positioned as a dominant player in the value space," Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Ike Boruchow said in emailed comments. "We believe this positioning has helped drive traffic as of late (and should continue to do so), especially as the brand is clearly leaning hard into successful categories (we've observed brand marketing to be heavily focused on athletic and loungewear categories, supported by healthy inventory levels)."