Gap Inc. announced the appointment of Mary Beth Laughton as president and chief executive officer of Athleta. Laughton will begin her new role in late October and will serve on Gap Inc.’s senior leadership team reporting to president and chief executive officer Art Peck.
“Mary Beth brings a strong background in digital operations, a keen understanding of customers and an ability to deliver innovative experiences,” said Peck. “She is the right leader for Athleta, with a proven track record in driving consistent results in multiple growth markets, including performance apparel and beauty.”
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“Athleta is a powerful brand that empowers women and girls through its inclusive, inspirational community and I am excited about the significant opportunity ahead for us,” said Laughton. “With innovative and sustainable product, beautiful marketing and a strong B Corp certification, Athleta is well positioned to grow and capture market share.”
Laughton is a 20+ year retail and digital executive with a strong background in driving omni-channel growth through innovative experiences at companies, including Sephora and Nike. Most recently, she was EVP of Omni retail for Sephora U.S. leading both the e-commerce and stores channels. She has overseen areas including digital marketing and merchandising, store operations and field, CRM/analytics, omnichannel experience and digital innovation. Additionally, during her tenure, Laughton increased the company’s online business 5x and improved store performance through a focus on innovative customer experiences coupled with operational rigor.
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Prior to that, Laughton spent nine years at Nike, in a variety of roles including general manager of e-commerce for Europe and the director of e-commerce for Nike subsidiaries, including Cole Haan, Converse and Hurley. She has been a board member of REI since 2017. Laughton began her career at McKinsey & Company, focusing on the retail and digital sectors. She graduated from Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration and received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from Indiana University.
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