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Gap Names Head of Gap Adult

Company veteran Gary Muto will take over the business.
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(GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. Report

named 19-year company executive Gary Muto as president of its struggling Gap Adult business and the GapBody intimate wear chain.

The specialty retailer said Thursday that Muto's appointment is effective immediately. Muto most recently led the San Francisco-based company's recently closed Forth & Towne brand, which was targeted to women over age 35.

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The company said in February that it was shuttering the brand after 18 months because it "was not demonstrating enough potential for an acceptable long-term return on investment." Forth & Towne will halt operations in June.

Muto will report to Marka Hansen, the president of Gap North America. Tom Wyatt, current president of GapBody, will become the president of the outlet division, overseeing Gap Outlet and Banana Republic factory stores.

"Gary is a proven merchant, and has held a variety of leadership roles during his 19 years with the company," Robert J. Fisher, interim CEO and chairman, said in a statement. "Marka and Gary are a dynamic team with a strong history with Gap brand. They'll help us make the changes necessary for the long term."

Muto began his career with the company in 1988 as a merchandise manager at the Gap brand. He advanced through merchandising positions within the Gap and Banana Republic brands until he became president of Banana Republic in 2001 and then president of Gap brand a year later. He was then asked to launch Forth & Towne.

The management shuffle is just the latest in a series of executive changes at Gap as it struggles to reverse a two-year sales slide.