Gap Inc.’s latest leadership change may be a tell-all sign of the direction the company wants to move toward.
On Wednesday, the company announced that Art Peck, president of Gap’s growth, innovation and digital division, has been selected by the board of directors to succeed Glenn Murphy as its next chief executive officer. Peck is currently responsible for creating the company’s omnichannel and digital strategies, and guiding the emerging Athleta, Intermix and Piperlime brands. He will take over Feb. 1, 2015, and will also join the board.
Bob Fisher, whose parents founded the company, will become non-executive chairman of the board. Fisher described Peck as an “inspiring leader who thinks big, brings out the best in people and understands how retail is changing today.”
Peck, a Boston Consulting Group alum, where he focused on consumer technology, consumer products and retail, is known for managing and developing many of Gap’s creative, store and operation leaders. Since joining the company in 2005, Peck has made significant inroads in a variety of brand, strategy and operational roles. From 2011 to 2012 he over saw the product resurgence in North America that improved Gap’s business results. He also grew earnings and increased the footprint of the Gap and Banana Republic outlet businesses. In his first few years at Gap, Peck led the development of the global strategy that continues to guide the company.
Bobby Martin, lead independent director for Gap Inc.’s board of directors, said, “We are pleased to have an internal leader with Art’s proven track record and management capabilities to chart the path for the company to further compete, win and grow.” He added, “Art has created substantial value for the company over the past decade, and the Board is confident he will further increase long-term returns for our shareholders. The Murphy era at Gap Inc. will be long remembered for successful global expansion, strategic investments in key growth areas, and the consistent shareholder returns that our management team delivered.”
Peck said, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead this company with such powerful brands and incredible talent—a combination that sets us apart globally.” He added, “Our success will be based upon presenting brand-right, emotional product to our customers, both in stores and online. Building upon the foundation Glenn has established, we will be focused on continuing to execute our strategy to drive long-term shareholder value.”
After seven years, in which he expanded Gap to 40 new countries, Murphy made the personal decision to retire from his post at the end of the fiscal year. Fisher said, “We owe a debt of gratitude to Glenn for his leadership, vision and selfless devotion to the company, and he’s created the path forward for the smooth and seamless transition our shareholders and employees deserve.”