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Gap looks to ‘redefine’ CMO role as Alegra O’Hare exits after 11 months

Gap's Alegra O'Hare out after 11 months

Gap’s chief marketing officer Alegra O’Hare has left the business after less than a year in the job. The exit coincides with the brand’s decision to “redefine” the role.

A company spokesperson confirmed the departure, stating: “We thank her for her time with the brand and wish her the best.

"As we look ahead, we will be redefining the role of the chief marketing officer.”

O’Hare joined from Adidas last February. She was tasked with launching a multi-pronged, 50-year anniversary celebration while building a life raft for the brand at the same time.

Gap had announced plans to shutter a number of stores, having found itself outpaced by sister brands Banana Republic and Old Navy.

In September, O’Hare laid out her plans to “turn [Gap] back into a cultural brand once again” by focusing on a number of key products (denim, khakis, sweats, T-shirts and classic logo apparel) and rebuild her internal marketing team to become more efficient.

She wanted to shift its focus to digital-first marketing, omnichannel retail and planned a “massive” social media transformation. On the creative front, she hired Johannes Leonardo to devise the brand platform ‘It’s Our Denim Now’.

However, despite O’Hare’s efforts, the company has not managed to sail out of choppy waters.

Art Peck, Gap Inc’s chief executive, stepped down in November after 15 years with the company. In the same week, the business reported falling global sales across all three of its core brands; O’Hare’s flagship dipped the most with a year-on-year drop of 7%.

Last week (16 January), the parent company u-turned on plans to spin-off Old Navy as a standalone public company.

“The work we’ve done to prepare for the spin shone a bright light on operational inefficiencies and areas for improvement,” said Robert Fisher, Gap Inc’s interim president and chief executive officer.

“We have learned a lot and intend to operate Gap Inc in a more rigorous and transformational manner that empowers our growth brands, Old Navy and Athleta, and appropriately focuses on profitability for Banana Republic and Gap brand.

“Our board is focused on supporting this work and appointing new leadership with the appropriate experience necessary to lead a portfolio of retail brands and to support our transformation efforts.”

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