Unformatted text preview: diculed line o f purple leather pants.J. Bo o rstein, “Fashio n Victim,” Fo rtune, April 13, 2006. The thro ngs o f teenagers he so ught to attract never
sho wed up, and the shif t in o f f erings sent Gap’s mainstay custo mers to retailers that easily co pied
the styles that Gap had made classic. The invento ry ho t po tato Drexler was lef t with crushed the f irm. Gap’s same-sto re sales declined
f o r twenty-nine mo nths straight. P ro f its vanished. Gap f o under and chairman Dan Fisher
lamented, “It to o k us thirty years to get to $ 1 billio n in pro f its and two years to get to no thing.”P .
Sellers, “Gap’s New Guy Upstairs,” Fo rtune, April 14, 2003. The f irm’s debt was do wngraded to
junk status. Drexler was o ut and f o r its new head the bo ard cho se P aul P ressler, a Disney executive
who ran theme parks and helped rescue the f irm’s o nce ailing retail ef f o rt. P ressler shut do wn hundreds o f sto res, but the hemo rrhaging co ntinued largely due to bad bets o n
co lo rs and styles.L. Lee, “P aul P ressler’s Fall f ro m The Gap,” BusinessWeek, February 26, 2007.
During o ne ho liday seaso n, Gap’s clo thes were deemed so o f f target that the f irm scrapped its
advertising campaign and wro te o f f much o f the invento ry. The marketing mo del used by Gap to
draw custo mers in via big-budget televisio n pro mo tio n had co llapsed. P ressler’s tenure saw samesto re sales decline in eighteen o f twenty-f o ur mo nths.J. Bo o rstein, “Fashio n Victim,” Fo rtune,
April 13, 2006. A Fo rtune article o n P ressler’s leadership was titled “Fashio n Victim.”
BusinessWeek described his time as CEO as a “To tal System Failure,”L. Lee, “P aul P ressler’s Fall
f ro m the Gap,” BusinessWeek, February 26, 2007. and Wall Street began ref erring to him as DMW
f o r Dead Man Walking. In January 2007, P ressler resigned, with Gap ho ping its third chief
executive o f the decade co uld right the ailing giant. Contract Man...
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