The Gap brand, seeking to put the spark back into its messaging to shoppers, has named Alegra O’Hare, formerly with Adidas, as senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
The appointment is the latest in a string of high-level hires at Gap in an effort turnaround the business. While Gap has been suffering from operational issues and market share losses, other divisions at Gap Inc. notably Old Navy and Athleta have been performing well. The $16 billion Gap Inc. also operates Banana Republic, Intermix and Hill City.
Last June, Gap brand named retail veteran Neil Fiske president and chief executive officer, and last November, Pam Wallack returned to Gap in the newly formed position of executive vice president and general manager for North America specialty retail and global head of specialty product. She formerly was with The Children’s Place, but earlier in her career, she was president of Gap Kids and Baby, which were expanded successfully under her leadership.
Both Wallack and O’Hare report to Fiske. O’Hare joins Gap on Feb. 25 and succeeds Craig Brommers.
“Alegra has extensive experience leading a major brand through a creative turnaround and in inspiring engagement with consumers in new ways,” Fiske said. “I’m excited to bring on a marketing innovator to lead our brand building efforts as we focus on renewing and strengthening Gap brand.” At Adidas, O’Hare was vice president of global brand communications for Adidas Originals and Style. Prior to joining Adidas in 2007, she worked at VF Corp., Bang & Olufsen and Sara Lee Corp.
“I have always admired Gap’s ethos, including the culture, creativity and heritage of the brand,” O’Hare said. “These core values are what make Gap unique.” She said her task ahead will be to “shift brand perception, amplify our stories, and deliver a bold, new and exciting point of view to our consumers around the world.”
The Gap brand peaked in the Nineties with its memorable “Individuals of Style” black-and-white advertising featuring celebrities the likes of Steve McQueen and Zsa Zsa Gábor. By the late Nineties, Gap started losing steam and in the years ahead changed up its advertising sometimes utilizing sexier imagery and cause marketing.