As Gap Inc lost Old Navy President Stefan Larsson this week to Ralph Lauren, Gap’s source of stability in Old Navy comes into question. Gap’s stock has tumbled 8.3% to $27.72 on Wednesday after Larsson’s departure was announced. Old Navy has supported the underperformance on the other major chains, Gap and Banana Republic. This shake-up also comes in the lead up to Christmas, adding more pressure on a company that has uneven results. The Old Navy brand has had higher sales growth than Gap and Banana Republic for the last six quarters. Art Peck, Gap Inc’s Chief Executive Officer, is reviving the other two major brands by using Old Navy’s test-and-react model. However, Larsson’s been orchestrating the entire turnaround at Old Navy, and without him could end up in the same predicament as Gap.
Jill Stanton, the Executive Vice President of Global Product at Old Navy, is the Interim Head of the Division from today. This allows for continuity for the department store chain, but it has not been revealed when Gap Inc will name a permanent replacement.