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Gap Inc. taps toy executive as its next CEO

Richard Dixon
Richard Dickson will take the reins of Gap Inc. on August 22.

The executive who, among other things, brought the magic back to Barbie is heading to Gap Inc.

The apparel giant named Richard Dickson as president and CEO, effective August 22. He will join the company from toymaker Mattel, where he most recently served as president and chief operating officer,  leading its global brand portfolio, overseeing strategy, brand marketing, design and development. He also oversees licensing and merchandising, live events and digital gaming.

Dickson, who joined the Gap board in fall 2022, is credited with being a lead architect in a global corporate transformation that reinvigorated Mattel’s iconic brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, and also restored the company to growth.  Prior to the release of the hugely successful "Barbie" move, Mattel signed licensing agreements with more than 100 brands for Barbie-themed goods.

At Gap, Dickson succeeds interim CEO and executive chairman Bob Martin, who was named to the role following the abrupt departure of Sonia Syngal last July.   

Prior to Mattel, which he joined in 2000, Dickson was president and CEO of branded businesses for The Jones Group, where he led global design and development, including marketing and merchandising, wholesale, retail, and e-commerce, updated fashion labels, and acquired and developed new brands.  Dickson also co-founded, the first online retailer dedicated to high-end cosmetics, and held an executive role at Bloomingdale’s.

“Amidst a deliberate and thoughtful search process, it became clear that Richard is destined for this role at this moment,” said Martin, who will remain chair of Gap. “His experience as a proven transformational brand builder and belief in the power of inclusivity, make him a perfect fit for Gap Inc.”

Lead independent director, Mayo A. Shattuck III, added, "Richard has invaluable expertise in areas critical to the work Gap Inc. is doing to strengthen the company for the long term. And we are thrilled to have his visionary leadership as the company redefines the future potential of Gap Inc. and its renowned American fashion brands."

Dickson joins Gap as the company continues to battle a sales slump. During the past 12 months, the company has undergone several corporate layoffs and executive shake-ups across its brands.  In its most recent quarter (ended April 29),  sales fell 6% year-over-year to $3.28 billion. It reported a net loss of $18 million, compared to a loss of $162 million in the year-ago period. 

"Gap Inc. is a portfolio of iconic brands, known for having defined American style with bold thinking and making quality fashion accessible to millions," DIckson said. "But it's the work ahead that excites me most - the chance to work hand-in-hand with the teams to evolve Gap Inc. for a new era."



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