Shoppers walk by the GAP store at a shopping mall in Peabody, Mass. Doris Fisher and her late husband Donald founded the Gap in San Francisco in 1969. Gap Inc. has grown to include Banana Republic and Old Navy brands, among others, and operates over 3,000 stores across the world. Fisher is 42nd on Forbes's 2012 400 listUS--Forbes List-Self-Made Women, Peabody, USA

Neil Fiske, a 20-year veteran of specialty retailing, has been named president and chief executive officer of Gap brand.

Fiske starts his new job on June 20 and will report to Art Peck, president and chief executive officer of the $15.9 billion Gap Inc.

Fiske takes on a tough assignment, considering how elusive a turnaround at Gap has been. For several years, the brand has suffered declining popularity, operational issues and lots of management turnover. He succeeds longtime Gap executive Jeff Kirwan, who left the division in February and had been president since 2014. Last year, Gap brand sales were flat.

“Neil brings significant retail and apparel experience to Gap Inc. and a track record of transforming and repositioning brands,” said Peck. “He is an experienced leader who deeply understands the mechanics of this business, the value of an omnichannel strategy and the need to build a progressive and relevant brand. I believe Neil is the right leader to strengthen Gap brand.”

“Gap is a truly iconic brand that is loved by its customers across the globe, and I am excited about the significant opportunity ahead for us,” said Fiske. “The brand has made some important progress and I look forward to working with the team to drive improved performance, operational excellence, great merchandising, and distinctive and powerful marketing.”

Most recently, Fiske served as ceo of Billabong International. Prior to that, he was president and ceo at Eddie Bauer, and earlier, he was ceo at Bath & Body Works. Gap credited Fiske with improving the performance of these specialty retailers.

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