Former Billabong CEO’s new home
SOME would say ex-Billabong CEO Neil Fiske has managed to escape the churn only to swim into a rip.
But his new employer, Gap Inc, will be hoping he can find a financial barrel to ride to happier shores.
Mr Fiske, who exited the iconic Gold Coast surfwear company after it was taken over by Boardriders, the California-based owners of Quiksilver, has been appointed to the head of another struggling retailer — this time as president and CE of Gap brand.
The retailer’s stores, which were operated under licence by Oroton Group in Australia, closed their doors earlier this year.
Gap Inc announced last year that it would close 200 underperforming Gap and Banana Republic stores in the US to focus on more promising brands.
A statement to the New York Stock Exchange says Mr Fiske has a track record of transforming and repositioning brands.
“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 Inc president and CEO Art Peck said in a statement.
Mr Fiske said he is excited about taking on an “iconic” brand.
“I am excited about the significant opportunity ahead for us,” Mr Fiske said.
“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.”
Gap Inc had net sales of $US15.9 billion ($21 billion) for the 12 months to September last year.
Its products are available for purchase in 90 countries around the world.
Mr Fiske, whose other roles have included CEO at Bath and Body Works, began his career at Boston Consulting Group, where he focused on consumer goods and retail.
He was brought in by US private equity groups in 2013 to revive Billabong’s fortunes.
However, the company failed to adapt to a changing retail environment and was bought by Boardriders for a fraction of its value 10 years ago.
Ex-Billabong CEO Neil Fiske has been appointed CEO and president at Gap brand.