Paul Pressler's Fall From The Gap

Paul Pressler's Fall From The Gap

The immediate post-mortem analysis: He was a numbers guy who didn't appreciate the nuances of the fashion business. That's true, but it's only part of the story. Pressler's problems involved more than just a few bad bets on colors and styles. According to 12 former employees interviewed by BusinessWeek, he also bungled some of the very things that were supposed to be his strengths, including cost-cutting campaigns, human resources initiatives, and supply chain streamlining efforts. One ex-employee characterizes Pressler's tenure as "total system failure."

It's funny, because over at MiceAge.com Mr. Pressler's lack of ability as a CEO/President/Leader dude are well documented. I guess the people at the GAP - who are supposed to be hip - never heard of doing any internet search on their candidate for CEO. Of course, you should believe everything you read on the internet - in fact, very little of it - but it can be a starting point for further investigation sometimes.

It was Gap's longstanding corporate culture that caught Pressler's attention early on. At the time, the no-nonsense corporate mantra was "Own it, do it, get it done." But Pressler thought this ethos didn't sufficiently promote collaboration. He set out to promote a new environment built around the slogan "Purpose, Values, and Behaviors." Among the catchphrases were bromides such as: "Explore, Create, and Exceed Together." Pamphlets promoting communication and teamwork landed on employees' desks. Posters and banners trumpeting the bland new slogans went up around headquarters.

Dogbert would have been proud.