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Gap North America President Marka Hansen resigns [Updated]

February 1, 2011 |  5:19 pm

Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, is stepping down from her position and will leave the company effective Friday, the San Francisco company announced Tuesday.

Hansen has been with the apparel company for 24 years and most recently helped launch the brand's 1969 premium jeans concept. An internal successor will be named Wednesday, Chief Executive Glenn Murphy said in a statement.

[Updated at 10:30 p.m.: In a news release late Tuesday, Gap announced that Art Peck, who has led the company's profitable outlet business for the last three years, would take over the position.]

Marka “After several conversations, Marka and I agreed this was the right time for a change in the organization in order to take Gap brand to a new level," Murphy said. "I am grateful for all that Marka has contributed to the company."

After starting as a Banana Republic merchant in 1987, Hansen moved to top merchandising roles at both Banana Republic and Gap, as well as in the International division when the company prepared to open in Europe and Japan. She also served as president of Banana Republic starting in 2003, before assuming the role of president of Gap North America in 2007.

In a note to investors, retail analyst Richard Jaffe said he viewed the move as a positive one and a "necessary step" in Gap's continuing effort to reinvigorate the brand.

"While Marka has had a significant positive impact ... particularly on the operational side, her efforts to reposition the merchandise assortments at Gap have not been as fruitful," Jaffe said in the note. "While the re-launch of denim (the 1969 brand) was a great success and the black pant initiative for women was well received, these were not sufficient to lift Gap’s results and fuel market-share gains."

-- Andrea Chang

Photo: Marka Hansen. Credit: Gap Inc.