After seven years, Gap Inc. CEO Glenn Murphy is stepping down. He will retire at the end of January, and on February 1, Art Peck, the president of Gap's division for growth, innovation and digital, will become the new CEO, overseeing the Gap flagship brand as well as Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix. Peck has been with the company since 2005.
When Murphy took over Gap in 2007, sales were sliding. Today, they're back to positive (albeit modest) growth levels. During his tenure, Murphy revamped Gap's store strategy, closing underperforming stores and opening her new ones, most recently in China. He also began to address Gap's design challenges, bringing on Cos's Rebekka Bay as creative director in late 2012 -- though he's admitted that the brand's merchandising still needs some work.
It's interesting — and telling — that Gap has plucked its next leader from its digital division: According to the company, Peck is currently responsible for Gap's omnichannel and digital strategies at its flagship brand, and "guides" Athleta, Intermix and Piperlime in those same areas. Prior to that role, Peck led the North American division of the Gap brand from 2011 to 2012, and was the head of Gap and Banana Republic's outlet businesses.
Gap was not an early leader in the e-commerce space, though it has made some significant strides in recent years. The company's flagship brand has proven adept at digital marketing, being among the first to develop campaigns with platforms like Tumblr, TaskRabbit and photo-sharing network VSCO. Across all of its brands, Gap’s online sales increased 21.5 percent last year, tallying $2.26 billion between February 2013 and February 2014.
Peck's appointment mirrors, to a degree, that of Julie Bornstein at Sephora, a digital executive who became the company's chief marketing officer in March 2013.