Richard Dickson Named Gap CEO – WWD

From Barbie to Gap Inc.

The struggling retailer has found its fix-it guy in Richard Dickson, who was named president and chief executive officer as of Aug. 22.

Dickson was most recently president and chief operating officer at Mattel, where he is credited for leading the company’s corporate transformation, including strategizing around the much-hyped “Barbie” movie that opened last week and blew threw revenue expectations.

Gap Inc. could certainly use some of Dickson’s Barbie magic — as well as the touch he brought to other toy brands like Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price. He also brings past apparel experience with a previous stint at Jones Apparel Group.

Dickson is now in charge of a sprawling specialty retail empire made up of Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta, which has been working without a permanent CEO since former chief Sonia Syngal left abruptly a year ago.

“Richard has invaluable expertise in areas critical to the work Gap Inc. is doing to strengthen the company for the long term,” said Mayo A. Shattuck 3rd, Gap’s lead independent director. “We are thrilled to have his visionary leadership as the company redefines the future potential of Gap Inc. and its renowned American fashion brands.”

Dickson joined Gap’s board in November.

“Gap Inc. is a portfolio of iconic brands, known for having defined American style with bold thinking and making quality fashion accessible to millions,” Dickson said. “But it’s the work ahead that excites me most — the chance to work hand-in-hand with the teams to evolve Gap Inc. for a new era. Under Bobby [Martin’s] leadership, the team has begun to truly reset the company for long-term success, establishing a new foundation that I’m eager to build on.”

Martin, who had been leading the company as interim CEO, will remain chair. During his temporary stay in the corner office, he moved to simplify operations and promote quicker decision making.

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