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Gap CFO Byron Pollitt leaving to oversee books at Visa Inc.

Gap CFO Byron Pollitt leaving to oversee books at Visa Inc.

Gap Inc.'s chief financial officer is leaving the slumping clothing retailer to oversee the books at Visa Inc. as the nation's largest credit card network prepares to go public.
Byron's Pollitt's defection, announced Wednesday, is not a surprise because Gap is ushering in a new regime after last month's hiring of Glenn Murphy as its new chief executive officer.
Pollitt is departing Sept. 14, nearly eight months after Gap dumped Paul Pressler as its CEO. After the two men worked closely as top executives at Walt Disney Co., Pressler hired Pollitt as Gap's CFO in 2003.
Sabrina Simmons, one of Pollitt's top deputies, will become acting CFO when her boss leaves. Simmons, 44, has handled a wide variety of financial responsibilities since joining the San Francisco-based company in 2001.
"I am confident the talented team at Gap Inc. will continue to build on the progress that we've made," Pollitt said.
Gap's fortunes initially rose under the guidance of Pressler and Pollitt, but the company's sales and stock price have been slipping for the past three years. Despite the prolonged funk, Gap's market value remains about $2 billion (euro1.47 billion) above where it stood before Pollitt's arrival.
Besides the Gap chain, the company also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic.
With Gap's revenue evaporating, Pollitt and his team have trimmed about $100 million (euro73.36 million) from the company's expenses so far this year. The streamlining eliminated about 2,000 jobs, including the closure of the company's Forth & Towne chain _ an experimental concept aimed at women 35 and older.
The cost cutting helped boost Gap's second-quarter earnings by 19 percent even as sales continued to sag.
Pollitt, 56, appears headed for greener pastures at Visa. The San Francisco-based debit and credit card network is changing its business structure so it can convert from a bank-owned cooperative to a publicly owned company late this year or early next year.
Visa's initial public offering of stock is expected to yield a big payoff, based on the investment returns registered by its biggest rival, MasterCard Inc. Since going public at $39 in May 2006, MasterCard's stock price has more than tripled.


Updated : 2021-03-02 03:04 GMT+08:00