Gap North America president departs

San Francisco -- Gap announced Tuesday that Marka Hansen president of Gap North America, has resigned, effective Feb. 4.

According to Glenn Murphy, Gap chairman and CEO, the decision to change leadership was mutual.

“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,” he said.

The apparel retailer said it has identified an internal successor to Hansen, who will be announced in the next day.

Hansen started as a Banana Republic merchant in 1987, then grew to hold 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.

Gap brand, which accounts for approximately 40% of the company's total sales, has struggled for much of the past decade. Same-store sales at Gap brand North America have fallen each year from 2004 to 2009 and are expected to post another decrease for 2010.

Hansen’s resignation follows a particularly difficult holiday season at Gap brand North America. Although November same-store sales rose 5%, December was a struggle as same-store sales fell 8% and traffic counts slipped.

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