One month after Gap brought in a new chief executive officer, its finance chief announced he is leaving the retailer for the CFO job at Visa Inc.
Byron Pollitt, who has been with Gap for more than four years, will leave the retailer on September 14. In 2005 and 2006, he was ranked one of the top three CFOs in specialty retail by Institutional Investor magazine. Before joining Gap, Pollitt worked at The Walt Disney Co. for 13 years, including a stint as CFO of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Gap’s newly appointed chairman and CEO Glen Murphy said in a statement that Pollitt has “played an integral role in restoring the company’s financial health and instilling the strong financial discipline across the organization that exists today.”
To be sure, the company has been a transition as far as sales are concerned. Pollitt’s departure follows a two-year slump in profits for the retailer, which operates the Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic brands.
Pollitt’s appointment to Visa comes as the credit card company recently completed a restructuring plan and is expected to transition to a publicly owned company later this year or in early 2008.
Current senior vice president of corporate finance Sabrina Simmons will serve as Gap’s interim CFO. She will also serve in the newly created position of executive vice president of Gap finance. Simmons has been with the company since 2001 when she started as vice president and treasurer. Her current responsibilities include corporate finance functions, corporate financial planning and analysis, investor relations, treasury, tax, corporate shared service center, and risk management.