Executive-to-watch Paul Pressler had a tough job at Walt Disney Co., but he faces an even tougher one at Gap Inc. He stepped in to replace Millard “Mickey” Drexler as chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based retailer on Sept. 26, just as the nation’s largest specialty chain faced more than two years of fashion and financial missteps, plummeting from huge profits to losses.

This story first appeared in the December 31, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Yet a meet-and-greet in New York with security analysts in early December proved positive for the 46-year-old Pressler, charged with leading the revival of the blue-chip franchise of more than 4,200 Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores worldwide. He was even seen as something of a good-luck charm for the $13.85 billion retailer when a 30-month losing streak of declining comparable-store sales declines was interrupted with a 9 percent rise in October and an 11 percent gain in November.