Toby Lenk’s exit is one of many changes the retailer announced today.
Kevin Woodward , Senior Editor
Gap Inc. is overhauling its management team, the apparel retailer announced today, making Toby Lenk’s position as president of the Gap Inc. Direct e-commerce business redundant.
Lenk will leave Gap in February, Gap says. Lenk, who joined Gap in 2003, wants to return to his entrepreneurial roots, Gap says. Prior to working at Gap, Lenk founded online retailer eToys in 1997, co-founded online video game rental subscription service GameFly Inc., and was vice president of corporate strategic planning for the Walt Disney Co. Gap is No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 guide.
His departure is part of a series of management changes Gap announced that reorganizes the company’s top leaders around brands instead of channels. Gap’s North American, international, online, outlet and franchise divisions will be consolidated under a single executive for each of its Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, it says. Gap also is creating an innovation and digital strategy team.
“By shifting the organization to be brand-, rather than channel-specific, Gap will have the opportunity to create a single brand identity for each of its banners, irrespective of where the customer interacts with it,” says Paula Rosenblum, a managing partner at research and advisory firm Retail Systems Research LLC. “In other words, the Gap customer may shop online or in stores, while the Banana Republic customer shop online or in stores—just different stores.”
The change may yield reduced overall inventory, improved consistency and a greater focus on the success of the whole, not just the channel, she says. “Our data has told us this is the right structure in an omnichannel and global world.”
That is the hope of Glenn Murphy, Gap chairman and CEO. “The global teams will move even faster in anticipating and responding to the ever-evolving needs of customers, delivering consistently great products around the world,” Murphy says.
Beginning Nov. 5, Steve Sunnucks, currently president of the international division, becomes global president. Mark Breitbard, a senior product leader for Gap in the United States and Canada, moves into the president of Gap North America position.
Art Peck, current president of Gap North America, becomes president of the new innovation, digital strategy and new brands division. He also will oversee the Athleta and Piperlime brands.
At Banana Republic, Jack Calhoun, president of North America, assumes the global president title. And Jill Stanton, a former Nike Inc. executive, who has been a creative advisor to Old Navy this year, joins the brand full time to oversee product design, development and production.
Gap says these executives will transition into their new roles between now and the start of its 2013 fiscal year Feb. 3.