Gap, Inc. announced on Wednesday that company veteran Mark Breitbard will be focusing on his role as global head of the group’s namesake label, leaving the leadership of the Banana Republic brand open.
With his newly refocused role, Breitbard will concentrate his energies on leading the Gap brand, but will also continue to oversee the company’s franchise, strategic alliances and licensing business, as well as the Intermix and Janie and Jack brands.
The executive first joined Gap in 2009, as chief merchandising and creative officer at Old Navy, a role he held for just over a year before moving to the company’s namesake brand in 2010. At the Gap brand he held the role of chief merchant, then president of Gap North America, playing an important role in the product-led resurgence of the brand’s North America business during his tenure.
Following a four-year stint as CEO of The Gymboree Corporation from 2013 to 2017, Breitbard returned to Gap as president and CEO of Banana Republic in April 2017. In 2019 he oversaw the acquisition of Janie and Jack and took over management of the brand, before adding the Gap brand to his responsibilities at the beginning of 2020.
Since then, the executive, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, has been busy working to reenergize the Gap brand, which has been in need of a turnaround for some time, as it has lost traction with consumers and has been forced to shutter a number of stores.
He was instrumental, for example, in establishing Gap’s partnership with Kanye West’s YZY. The collaborative collection from the two brands is set to go on sale in spring 2021.
“Mark has brought significant expertise and strategic oversight to Gap, not only steering the brand through Covid but also making bold moves to set the brand up for growth,” commented Gap, Inc. CEO Sonia Syngal in a release. “In nine months, Mark has made Gap more relevant with new positioning, created a leaner business, and activated asset-lite growth by signing one of the brand’s largest licensing deals and establishing the YZY Gap partnership. He is the right leader for our namesake brand.”
“I am energized by the progress we’re making at Gap,” said Breitbard. “We have a huge runway ahead. Gap is a trusted brand with 15 million active customers around the globe and we can be a voice for powerful change.”
Following Breitbard’s departure from Banana Republic, the label’s general manager for North America, Ann Doyle, will lead the brand until Gap can find a new head for the business.