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Gap appoints new chief growth officer

Gap Inc. has announced that Asheesh Saksena will join the senior leadership team as chief growth officer, a position he will assume in January 2021.

The newly created position will reportedly focus on executing the company’s strategic agenda and growth initiatives for the future.

Saksena most recently served as president of Best Buy Health where he led the formation and operation of the brand’s “strategic diversification”. He also served as the company’s chief strategic growth officer.

During his time with Best Buy, he helped expand the company’s addressable market and “incubated new platforms for growth”. Prior to his time at Best Buy, he led strategy and growth organisations at Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, and as partner at Accenture.

The company has also announced that Sandra Stangl will join as the new president and CEO of Banana Republic.

Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap Inc, said: “Gap Inc. has significant opportunity to grow our purpose-led, billion-dollar lifestyle brands through the power of our platform, sophisticated end-to-end capabilities and by harnessing the advantages that come with operating a portfolio that targets 80 percent of the addressable apparel market.

“With the addition of Asheesh and Sandra, two strong industry veterans and proven creators, I have even greater confidence in our ability to deliver against our Power Plan 2023 as we steer the company into the future.”

Saksena and Stangl’s appointments follow the company’s recent Q3 trading update, which showed Gap Globals net sales down by 14%.

The group said its sales were impacted by the company’s “ongoing strategy” to close unprofitable stores amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gap ended the quarter with 3,785 store locations in 43 countries, of which 3,178 were company-operated, compared with 3,396 company-operated stores last year.

As part of “ongoing fleet optimisation efforts” to support its long-term strategy, the company said it intends to close approximately 225 Gap and Banana Republic stores globally, net of openings, in 2020.

Syngal added: “Our third quarter results reflect our Power Plan 2023 in action—specifically the strength of our online business, which comprised 40% of sales, and our commitment to meeting the shopping preferences of our customers through our leading omni platform.

“With our teams focused on sales growth and returning to profitability, we’ve made investments in demand generation that are driving engagement, particularly in this dislocated market as customers are looking to trusted brands to provide easy and safe shopping options.”

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