Gap shares plunge as CEO retires

By Michael Liedtke The Associated Press
Thursday May 23, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — Gap, Inc.’s shares plunged 15 percent Wednesday amid investor worries the unexpected retirement of Millard “Mickey” Drexler as chief executive will hobble the already limping retailer. 

After informing Gap’s board of his plans Tuesday, Drexler tried to reassure investors Wednesday that his departure won’t hurt the San Francisco-based company’s effort to reverse a two-year sales slide. 

Saying he wouldn’t feel comfortable stepping down unless he was confident a turnaround was just around the corner, Drexler described his move as a vote of confidence in the company, rather than a distress signal. 

“I just feel good about what I see is happening,” Drexler, 57, said during a conference call with analysts. “I feel really comfortable with the team in place.” 

Drexler indicated he will stay on the job as long as it takes the Gap to find a replacement.