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.