In a proud moment for women of colour, America’s largest apparel retailer, GAP Inc. recently appointed Indian-born, Sonia Syngal as its new CEO.
After being appointed as the CEO, she stated,
It’s an honor to build on this company’s rich heritage and lead our nearly 130,000 employees in transforming our business and operations to successfully compete in the future.
The 49-year-old was born in India but migrated to Canada and eventually settled down in the US. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in 1993 and her Master’s in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University in 1995.
But prior to joining GAP, Syngal had a colourful career at several Fortune 500 companies. She was a part of Sun Microsystems where she led manufacturing operations, logistics and supply chain management, and at Ford Motor Co. where she held roles in product design, quality and manufacturing engineering.
After working in these companies, Syngal joined GAP in 2004 and eventually went on to becoming CEO of Old Navy, GAP’s value chain in 2016. She also lead the portfolio’s global supply chain and product-to-market model and served as Managing Director of GAP Europe.
She will replace interim chief Robert Fisher, a member of the founding family behind GAP, who will also step down as chairman of the company’s board. She will receive an annual base salary of $1.3 million and will take over effective March 23.
About the new role, she mentioned,
I’m committed to fully realizing the potential of our portfolio and the advantage of our scale, with a focus on strengthening the love that our millions of customers have for our brands. To do that, we must better prioritize initiatives and capabilities that will improve execution and drive value creation.
Syngal is the highest-ranked Indian-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company after Indra Nooyi stepped down as PepsiCo head in 2018.