Gap CEO steps down amid slumping sales - 47abc

The Gap

Gap Inc. shares tumbled in extended trading Thursday after the company said CEO Art Peck will be stepping down, effective immediately. Gap's stock lost more than half its value during Peck's tenure and is trading at around $18 a share. Robert Fisher, Gap's non-executive chairman of the board, will take Peck's place until a permanent CEO is named.

"As the board evaluates potential successors, our focus will be on strong leadership candidates with operational excellence to drive greater efficiency, speed and profitability", said Fisher.

As a key member of the founding family, the company said, Fisher brings strong leadership and invaluable perspective from his 35-year history with Gap Inc., where he has served in a variety of senior executive positions, including interim president and chief executive officer.

As the flagship name struggled and closed stores, Old Navy, Gap budget line created in 1994, continued to grow, topping $7 billion in sales a year ago. Other Gap brands, including Banana Republic and Old Navy, also saw global sales declines of 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

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Like many mall-based clothing chains, Gap is struggling to turn itself around as shoppers go online or to discounters such as T.J. Maxx for their clothing. But instead, the chain has had to keep discounting its merchandise to get customers into its stores. In February, when the split was announced, company officials said they meant to shutter roughly 200 Gap stores over the next three years. In addition, the company's board has appointed Bobby Martin, chair of its compensation and management development committee, as lead independent director.

Gap also now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share of $1.70 to $1.75, down from its previous forecast of $2.05 to $2.15.

Gap warned third-quarter net income to range between 50 cents and 52 cents a share.

The news was delivered in the company's quarterly earnings.

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