Gap Chairman and CEO Murphy steps down, Peck to be successor

By Anne D’Innocenzio, AP

NEW YORK –Gap said late Wednesday that Glenn Murphy will resign as its chairman and chief executive on Feb. 1, and the retailer will promote its digital leader Art Peck to CEO.

The San Francisco company, which operates Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, said Wednesday Murphy is resigning on Feb. 2, the end of its current fiscal year. He has been Gap’s chairman and CEO since July 2007 and oversaw a turnaround that has lost steam in recent months.

Since joining Gap in 2005, Peck has been involved in a variety of operational roles and served as the president of Gap’s outlet division and the namesake brand’s North America division. But his most recent role has been overseeing new innovations that cater to shoppers jumping back and forth from their smartphone to the store.

Gap shares fell in after-hours trading on the news. The company also announced weak sales for September.

During a conference call with analysts following the announcement, Murphy said he made a personal decision to retire because he couldn’t commit to be at the helm for the next several years. He believes that Peck is the right successor.

“I think this is a good day at Gap. The best of this business is ahead of it,” Murphy said. “This is a future CEO who knows our culture.”

Peck, the president of its growth, innovation and digital division, will also join the board of directors. The company said that the board looked at number of outside candidates but Peck quickly rose to the top of the list.