Gap makes more changes to its executive lineup

SAN FRANCISCO, Tue Oct 16, 2012 – Gap Inc. is placing each of its divisions under a single global executive, the retailer said on Tuesday, as it recreates its model for its Old Navy unit.

The moves come after Gap had hired a number of new executives and revamped its management lineup in recent months under CEO Glenn Murphy.

Starting Nov. 5, Steve Sunnucks, who is international chief for the Gap brand, will become global president, while Art Peck, chief of Gap North America, will take over as president of the new innovation, digital strategy and new brands division.

Toby Lenk, president of the online division, will leave in February, the company said in a statement.

At Banana Republic, Jack Calhoun, president for North America, will become global president.

The company had already begun the process at Old Navy, where Stefan Larsson, a former head of global sales at Hennes & Mauritz AB, started earlier this month as global president.

The company said CEO Murphy would oversee its Chinese business from now on, while Nancy Green, product leader for Old Navy, will take on a supporting role in China, with responsibility for guiding the product assortment and merchandise there.

In September, Gap named Rebekka Bay as creative director and executive vice president for Gap global design and ex-J.C. Penney Co. Inc. marketing chief Michael Francis as an adviser.

Gap shares were up 0.9 percent at $36.60 in morning trading.

Disney bets $1 billion on Pixar-driven park revamp

LOS ANGELES, Fri Jun 8, 2012 – The Disney California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, a dud since it opened in 2001, will unveil the fruits of a five-year, $1 billion renovation next week – and there’s a lot more riding on the effort than ticket sales.

Disney is counting on the overhauled park to entice visitors at adjacent Disneyland to stay another day or two, preferably in a Disney hotel. It is also a riposte to rival Universal Studios, which just launched a heavily promoted thrill ride based on the movie “Transformers.”

Perhaps most importantly, the revamped Disney California Adventure underscores the emergence of Pixar’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, as a key force within Disney — as a colorful and imaginative counterpoint to the company’s technocratic, financially oriented chief executive, Bob Iger.

Indeed, with the opening next week of a themed area called Cars Land, the park is fast becoming Pixar-land. Nine of 20 rides are now based on films from the computer animation company, which Disney bought from Steve Jobs in 2006.

The prominence of Lasseter and Pixar, as well as the emergence of such major franchises as Marvel Entertainment’s blockbuster film “The Avengers,” marks a major shift for the venerable entertainment conglomerate.

In its most successful times, “Disney magic” came largely from within. The company was run by creative executives such as Walt Disney himself and Michael Eisner, a former TV and film production executive.

Now it is counting on companies it acquired for the iconic characters and story lines that drive everything from theme park attendance to merchandise sales.

Ford spending $1 billion on Lincoln revamp, report says

DETROIT ― Ford Motor Co. is spending $1 billion in an effort to develop a new generation of vehicles for its struggling Lincoln brand, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing dealers briefed on the plan.

Ford is working on seven all-new or significantly upgraded vehicles that Lincoln will roll out over the next four years.

During a presentation to dealers two weeks ago, Ford Americas President Mark Fields said the auto maker sees the effort as the “last chance” for Lincoln to re-establish itself as a leading competitor in the luxury-car segment, according to the report. The Journal cited three dealers who attended the invitation-only event.

At the meeting, Ford executives said they expect Lincoln sales to fall to 78,000 vehicles this year, and then climb to 162,000 in 2015, with the seven new models providing a lift, the report said.

Representatives for Ford could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular business hours.