Sonia Syngal, the top executive at Old Navy since 2016, has been promoted to CEO of the brand’s parent company, Gap Inc. The family of brands also appointed two new members to its board of directors and a new executive chairman.
This follows a series of leadership shakeups at the retail conglomerate and its brands, which include Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta, among others. Syngal’s appointment is effective March 23.
“To lead the company into its next chapter, we sought a dynamic leader who could bring a deep respect for our customers and make the decisions necessary to deliver value from our portfolio of brands over the long term,” said Bob Fisher, Gap Inc. board chair and interim CEO, in a statement. “[Syngal] is an excellent operator who drives innovation and decisive action, and she leads with both vision and heart.”
Last year was a rough one for the company. Gap Inc. stock fell 25% over the course of 2019 and since November, three top executives have left. Former CEO Art Peck’s plan to spin Old Navy off into a separate company was scrapped in January after he was pushed out in late 2019.
At the same time that Gap Inc. decided to keep Old Navy under its umbrella, the company announced that Gap brand CEO Neil Fiske would also be vacating his position. Just a week later, Gap brand CMO Alegra O’Hare left less than a year after her appointment.
Prior to her role as CEO for Old Navy, Syngal served as evp of global supply chain and product operations for the brand. She’s been with the company since 2004 in several key leadership and management roles including managing director for the company’s business in Europe and svp of Gap Inc.’s international division and international outlet division.
“It’s an honor to build on this company’s rich heritage and lead our nearly 130,000 employees in transforming our business and operations to successfully compete in the future,” Syngal said in a statement.
Bobby Martin will take over as Gap Inc.’s executive board chairman on March 23. Martin’s been on the board of directors since 2002 and has extensive retail experience. He previously led Walmart International as president and CEO and is a former director of Dillard’s Inc.
Elizabeth Smith and Amy Miles will join the board of directors, effective April 1. Smith is the former CEO of Bloomin’ Brands and also previously held senior positions at Avon Products and Kraft Foods. Miles was CEO of Regal Entertainment Group from 2009 to 2018 and serves on the boards of Norfolk Southern Corporation and ASM Global.