NEW YORK — Chanel Inc. has fast-tracked its executive succession by three months, saying on Tuesday that Maureen Chiquet, who was named president-elect last May, will officially become president and chief operating officer on Oct. 1.

Chanel previously said that Chiquet would start in the New York-based position on Jan. 1, succeeding Arie L. Kopelman, who will remain vice chairman of Chanel’s board. A spokeswoman for Chanel confirmed that, after training at the corporate headquarters in Paris for the past year, Chiquet will start earlier than previously stated, but she could not say why.

Chiquet is a 14-year veteran of Gap Inc. who was most recently president of its Banana Republic division. Kopelman has been the head of Chanel’s U.S. division for more than 15 years.

Chiquet started her career in Paris at L’Oréal as a brand manager for hair care, where she worked for three years. After marrying in France, she relocated to San Francisco and joined Gap’s merchandising program in 1988. There she took on roles of increasing responsibility, including serving as executive vice president of Old Navy, where she helped build the business from its inception and launched many of its iconic products. She was named president of Banana Republic in August 2002.

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