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Gap names H&M exec as president of Old Navy brand

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Gap Inc. on Monday named Stefan Larsson, 37, most recently head of global sales for H&M, as the new president of its Old Navy brand. He'll start by the end of October, replacing Tom Wyatt, who, resigned in February.

H&M has ridden the rising tide of European "fast-fashion" chains known for ever-changing merchandise. Other companies following the trend include Zara, Mango and Forever 21, which has created tough competition for Gap and its sister chains Banana Republic and Old Navy in recent years.

Gap hopes Larsson, who worked at H&M for 15 years, can help as Old Navy grows abroad. The company said Old Navy is preparing to open its first store outside North America, in Japan, in July.

Nancy Green, executive vice president and chief creative officer, and Tom Sands, executive vice president of stores and operations, will continue to jointly lead Old Navy until Larsson joins the company.

Gap shares closed down 3 cents at $28.50 on Monday.