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California and the West

New leader installed at Gap unit

February 02, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Gap Inc. on Thursday replaced Cynthia Harriss, president of the clothing chain's Gap North America division, with Marka Hansen, a 20-year company veteran.

Hansen, 53, president of the retailer's Banana Republic unit, took over from Harriss immediately, the company said. Hansen will report to interim Chief Executive Robert Fisher.

Harriss, 54, is the first executive to resign since former CEO Paul Pressler quit last month. Pressler failed to revive flagging sales at the Gap and Old Navy chains, losing market share to teen retailers and discounters. Four other Gap executives left before Pressler's departure.

Hansen joined Gap in 1987 as a Banana Republic merchandise manager. In 1993, she became vice president of merchandising for Gap's international unit, helping it expand into Europe and Japan. Hansen headed Gap's human resources division beginning in 2000 and became executive vice president of adult merchandising for the chain in 2002 before taking over Banana Republic beginning in 2003.

Harriss started at Gap in 2004 as president of the outlet division. Before that, she was president of Disneyland Resort, a unit of Walt Disney Co., at which Pressler also had been an executive. Harriss received $775,000 in compensation in 2005.

Shares of San Francisco-based Gap, which operates more than 3,100 stores worldwide, rose 42 cents to $19.59.

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