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Gap names new CEO to replace Glenn Murphy in 2015

Gap names new CEO to replace Glenn Murphy in 2015
Gap Inc. said Art Peck will take over as CEO after Glenn Murphy steps down in 2015. (Craig Warga / Bloomberg)

Gap Inc. will get a new chief executive when Glenn Murphy retires next year after guiding the retailer through a period of slow sales.

The San Francisco retailer said that Art Peck, Gap's president of growth, innovation and digital operations, will take over at the helm Feb. 1. Bob Fisher, the son of Gap's founders, will become non-executive chairman.

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Murphy, who has been chief executive for seven years, said he is retiring for personal reasons.

"I am not able to make the personal commitment to execute the long-term strategy and planning for Gap Inc.," Murphy said in a Tuesday conference call. "The board would like me to stay, and I am flattered by that and I appreciate that."

Under Murphy's watch, Gap -- which includes Banana Republic and Old Navy -- revamped its fashion offerings, improved its supply chain and acquired Athleta, the popular activewear brand.

For the three months ended Aug. 2, the retailer reported net income of $332 million, up nearly 10% from the same period a year earlier. Sales climbed 3% to nearly $4 billion.

Peck will be taking over the reins as retailers scramble to adjust to consumers who are increasingly shopping on smartphones and tablet computers.

Fisher, who will take over as chairman next year, said the board conducted "a global search" for a new chief executive after Murphy said he planned to step down.

"The board was determined to select a successor with a deep understanding of how consumers are evolving," Fisher said Tuesday during the call.

Peck's job as head of innovation and digital operations, Fisher said, prepared him to understand how shopping behavior has changed.

Also on Tuesday, Gap reported that September sales were up 1% compared with the same month last year. Murphy said that September "proved more challenging than we expected."

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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