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Gap Taps H&M's Larsson To Head Old Navy Brand

04/30/2012 | 05:23pm US/Eastern

Gap Inc. (>> The Gap Inc.) named Stefan Larsson, a 15-year veteran of Swedish retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB (HM-B.SK), to head its Old Navy business.

The appointment comes after former Old Navy chief Tom Wyatt left the discount apparel retailer in February to take a job at a privately held early-childhood education company.

Old Navy Chief Creative Officer Nancy Green, and Tom Sands, its executive vice president of stores and operations, had been running the retailer in the interim while Gap conducted the search for Wyatt's replacement. They will continue to lead the division until Larsson takes the role in October.

Gap shook up its management last year, including a move that ousted its top designer, as part of a turnaround plan.

The company's earnings have been sliding for the past year, although profits have still exceeded guidance lately after several key trend misses in recent years. In North America, the company's Banana Republic stores have outperformed its namesake brand and Old Navy segment lately.

Larsson most recently served as head of global sales for H&M with responsibility for about 2,300 stores. The world's No. 2 fashion chain by revenue behind Spain's Inditex SA, H&M has pursued an aggressive expansion strategy.

Gap shares closed at $28.50 Monday and were unchanged after hours. The stock has climbed 51% over the past three months.

-By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909;

Stocks mentioned in the article : The Gap Inc.
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