Gap’s CEO Exits

NEW YORK Paul Pressler, president and CEO of Gap Inc., said late yesterday that he is leaving his position, effective immediately.

Robert Fisher, the San Francisco-based company’s current non-executive chairman of the board of directors, will serve as president and CEO on an interim basis.

The news follows the departure earlier this month of two key executives, Denise Johnston, president of Gap’s adult division, and Ivy Ross, head of product design for Old Navy. As many as 11 senior executives have vacated key spots at the company in recent months, including Kyle Andrew, vp, marketing for the Gap brand.

Gap is trying to dig its way out of a string of declining comp store sales that have plagued the company 28 out of the past 31 months. The company has hired Goldman Sachs to review strategies for Gap and Old Navy, amid speculation the company could possibly be for sale. The company will release 2006 fourth quarter and full-year earnings on March 1.

Pressler, who is also relinquishing his seat on Gap’s board, has held the reins at the company since Sept. 2002 after 15 years at Walt Disney.

Gap operates more than 3,100 stores under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Forth & Towne and Piperlime brand names.

Recent Gap ads feature the store’s comfortable khaki apparel as worn by film star Kyra Sedgwick. Independent Laird + Partners in New York is the lead creative agency for the flagship Gap brand.