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Gap Picks New Leader for Athleta

Athleta signage
Photo courtesy ColleenMichaels, Adobe

Gap Inc. has named Chris Blakeslee as the new President and CEO of Athleta as of Aug. 7, 2023. Blakeslee will be tasked with driving strategic growth for the nearly $1.5 billion women’s active and lifestyle brand and certified B Corporation. He will replace Mary Beth Laughton, who has held these posts since September 2019.

Blakeslee was most recently President of sister companies Alo Yoga and Bella+Canvas. Under his leadership, Alo Yoga focused on a fashion-forward approach to wellness, building community and brand awareness with high-profile influencers along with store and category expansion. He also led the expansion of apparel wholesaler Bella+Canvas into the retail space, offering customers direct access to product both online and in stores. Prior to that, Blakeslee held several senior position at Broder Brothers (now Alphabroder), a wholesale distributor of branded products and services.

“Chris is a strong, decisive leader and proven business driver across multiple industries, including active apparel and wellness, making him well suited to guide Athleta into long-term sustainable growth rooted in delivering high-quality performance product and a rich omni shopping experience,” said Bob Martin, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO at Gap Inc. in a statement.

In July 2022 Athleta revealed details of its expansion plans for outlet center stores, and in September 2022 Athleta moved further into the off-price sector and began a resale program in partnership with ThredUp. That same month, Athleta debuted an intimates category with its Rituals collection.

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