Gap Inc. reveals new Athleta CEO

Gap Inc. reveals new Athleta CEO


Chris Blakeslee – Gap Inc.

I​n his new role, Blakeslee will drive growth for the portfolio’s nearly $1.5 billion women’s active and lifestyle brand, building on the foundation of Athleta’s product innovation and its mission to “ignite a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other to reach their true potential through the ‘Power of She’,” according to a press release.

An apparel retail and wholesale industries expert, Blakeslee has held roles across marketing, sales, product portfolio management, operations, and supply chain, serving most recently as president of sister companies Alo Yoga and Bella+Canvas since 2017. In that time, Alo Yoga grew to over $1 billion in sales in 2022, nearly doubling its year-over-year growth, according to Gap Inc. 

​Prior to this, Blakeslee held several senior positions at Broder Brothers (now Alphabroder), a wholesale distributor of branded products and services.

“A true brand champion, Chris is known for driving results in high-growth businesses through the blend of creativity and operational rigor,” said Bob Martin, executive chairman and interim CEO, Gap Inc.

“Chris is a strong, decisive leader and proven business driver across multiple industries, including active apparel and wellness – one of the fastest and most aspirational retail sectors – making him well suited to guide Athleta into long-term, sustainable growth rooted in delivering high-quality performance product and a rich omni shopping experience.”

​Blakeslee will work closely with Athleta chief creative officer, Julia Leach, who was appointed in May.

​”I’m thrilled to join the Gap Inc. team and to lead Athleta – a brand I’ve long admired. I see incredible runway for the brand to capitalize on its unique, purpose-led positioning and performance product innovation, leveraging its assets across marketing, stores, product and community to deliver consistent growth,” said Blakeslee.

“There is something really captivating about the ‘Power of She’ when it comes to engaging women and girls in all aspects of life, and I can’t wait to jump in with the teams to harness this in a way that will further serve customers’ wants and needs.”

In the last twelve months, Athleta has been on an expansion rampage. It revealed plans for five new Canada stores in June last year, and announced its new resale vertical in October. Most recently, the activewear company opened a flagship store in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, as part of ambitious retail expansion plans. 

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