Gap no longer intends to separate from old navy

by Stephen Garner
Old Navy
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In a statement on Thursday, Gap Inc. announced that it no longer intends to separate Old Navy into a standalone public company.

“The plan to separate was rooted in our commitment to value creation from our portfolio of iconic brands,” said Robert Fisher, interim president and chief executive officer at Gap Inc. “While the objectives of the separation remain relevant, our board of directors has concluded that the cost and complexity of splitting into two companies, combined with softer business performance, limited our ability to create appropriate value from separation.”

“The work we’ve done to prepare for the spin shone a bright light on operational inefficiencies and areas for improvement,” continued Fisher. “We have learned a lot and intend to operate Gap Inc. in a more rigorous and transformational manner that empowers our growth brands, Old Navy and Athleta, and appropriately focuses on profitability for Banana Republic and Gap brand. Our board is focused on supporting this work and appointing new leadership with the appropriate experience necessary to lead a portfolio of retail brands and to support our transformation efforts.”

The company’s board of directors intends to appoint a new CEO to oversee the full portfolio of brands and corporate strategy. As previously communicated, in the interim, four of the company’s senior leaders have been elevated and have taken on additional responsibilities reporting to Fisher.

Mark Breitbard, president and CEO of Banana Republic, will now lead Gap Inc.’s collection of specialty brands, including Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Janie and Jack, Intermix and Hill City; Sonia Syngal, president and CEO of Old Navy, will continue to lead the Old Navy business; Teri List-Stoll, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will lead corporate operations related to finance, supply chain, technology and real estate; and Julie Gruber, executive vice president, global general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer, will lead corporate administrative functions including legal, corporate facilities and services, human resources and communications, loss prevention, sustainability, government affairs, and foundation.

Additionally, the company today announced that Neil Fiske, president and CEO of Gap brand, will leave the company.

The company now expects total company fiscal 2019 comparable sales and net sales to both be at the higher end of its previous guidance range of down mid-single digits and down low-single digits, respectively. As a result of better than anticipated promotional levels over the holiday period, particularly at Old Navy, the company now expects its adjusted fiscal year 2019 earnings per share to be moderately above its previous guidance of $1.70 – $1.75.