Sonia Syngal, president and chief executive officer of Old Navy Inc., speaks during the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.

Sarah Silbiger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gap Inc. has tapped its Old Navy chief Sonia Syngal to be CEO, effective March 23, the company announced Thursday afternoon.

Its shares climbed more than 1% in after-hours trading on the news. 

“I’m committed to fully realizing the potential of our portfolio and the advantage of our scale, with a focus on strengthening the love that our millions of customers have for our brands,” Syngal said in a statement. “To do that, we must better prioritize initiatives and capabilities that will improve execution and drive value creation.”

Syngal has been leading Old Navy’s business since 2016. She has been with Gap Inc. since 2004. She will also now be joining Gap’s board of directors later this month, the company said.

The announcement comes after Gap earlier this year called off plans to split Old Navy into a separate public company.

Gap’s plans to spin off its once-star Old Navy brand — which were first announced last February — were called into question with the ouster of former Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck in late 2019.

The San Francisco-based retailer announced in November that Peck was stepping down from the position he had held since 2015. Peck was replaced temporarily by Fisher, the son of Gap’s founders Donald and Doris Fisher.

Gap has not disclosed its holiday sales, but in January it slightly boosted its full-year expectations “as a result of better than anticipated promotional levels over the holiday period.”

The retailer is calling for total same-store sales and net sales in fiscal 2019 to be down mid-single digits and down low-single digits, respectively. It said earlier this year that it expects adjusted earnings per share in fiscal 2019 to be “moderately above” a range of $1.70 to $1.75. Analysts have been calling for annual adjusted earnings per share of $1.80, based on Refinitiv data.

Gap is set to report fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on March 12.

The company also announced Thursday that current board member Bobby Martin become executive chairman, also effective March 23.

It is, meanwhile, adding former Bloomin’ Brands CEO Elizabeth Smith and former Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles, to its board.

Its stock closed Thursday down more than 6%, amid a broader selloff. The company has a market cap of about $4.99 billion. Its stock has fallen a little more than 50% over the past 12 months.

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