NEW YORK — The transition at Gap is complete.

Millard "Mickey" Drexler, Gap Inc.’s former president and chief executive officer, announced his departure from the San Francisco-based specialty retailer’s board Friday, capping his retirement.

The move, which took effect Friday, was expected. On Sept. 26, Gap ended a four-month search when it hired Walt Disney Co. executive Paul Pressler to succeed Drexler as ceo.

Gap, which operates more than 4,000 Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores, said Drexler’s current term on the board was scheduled to expire next May. All Gap board members are elected annually to one-year terms.

Drexler, considered the merchandising muscle behind Gap’s rise in the retailing kingdom, announced May 21 his plans to retire after 19 years with the firm.

In August, the firm named Gary Muto, then president of the Banana Republic division, to succeed Drexler as president of the Gap brand division.

Drexler said he wants to focus his full attention on other priorities now that he has retired from the company and the ceo transition is complete, Gap said in a statement.

"On behalf of the board, I want to thank Mickey for his many contributions," said Gap Inc. founder and chairman Donald Fisher.

Fisher has said he will propose that Pressler be added to the board.

Drexler remains one of Gap’s largest individual shareholders, owning 1.5 percent of Gap’s shares, or 13 million shares, as of Friday. On Sept. 9, in a transaction that increased his stock ownership in the company, Drexler exercised approximately 14.5 million options, which were all of his in-the-money options, at an exercise price of $5.79 per share, or $84 million. Of those options, 13.5 million were scheduled to expire in November 2003.

As reported, Gap announced a 2 percent slide in its September comparable-store sales, citing weak traffic and higher levels of promotions. It estimated fourth-quarter earnings would exact a 2- to 7- cent toll due to the 11-day West Coast port closures, as roughly 25 percent of its holiday inventory was caught in transit.

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