Sonia Syngal

Cayce Clifford for Fortune
  • Title
  • Affiliation
    Gap Inc.
  • Age
  • 2019 Rank

Syngal, previously CEO of Old Navy, took the reins of the retailer’s $16 billion parent company in March just as COVID-19 began to ravage clothing sales and forced the company to close its stores. But the new CEO didn’t shrink from a fight with landlords over rent or hesitate to use the crisis to permanently shut weak stores in the Gap chain. She deftly protected margins by keeping inventory down and even found some ways to eke out new sales, repurposing fabric to sell $130 million worth of face masks in the spring and summer—the equivalent of 4% of Gap’s $3.3 billion in second-quarter sales. All the while, Gap has maintained its trademark social activism: Old Navy, its biggest brand, will give employees a paid day off to work the election polls.

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