• Gap’s franchises boss to leave business
  • Gap moving role to the US
  • Franchising forms core part of Gap’s growth strategy

Gap’s franchising boss is leaving the retailer amid a restructure of its business that will see franchising operations moved to the US.

Stefan Laban, who has been at Gap for six years, will leave the business tomorrow. Based in London, Laban oversaw all functions of Gap’s franchising, which forms the core of its business outside the US and Europe and is a key part of the company’s growth strategy.

Laban established the franchising business, taking its presence from 15 to 45 countries. It now has 400 stores, mainly across Asia.

A Gap spokesman said: “Gap is moving responsibility for the brands’ Strategic Alliances functions closer to the business and product creation in North America, in an effort to streamline how our franchise partners work with our brands.

“With these changes, Stefan Laban will be leaving the company.” 

Laban joined Gap in December 2009 to head up Gap and Banana Republic internationally. He held the role for three years before taking on responsibility for global franchises, wholesale and Gap’s stores in Europe and Japan. He then left that role just under a year ago to lead all Gap brands – Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy – internationally.

Previous to joining Gap, Laban spent eight years at Nike, where he established its franchising business and managed the operational and strategic aspects of its Europe, Middle East and Asia retail business.

In its last full year, Gap’s net profits fell 27% to $920m (£663.32m), with like-for-likes dropping 4%.