The stock, after initially rebounding under Pressler from $10 a share to $25, has since drifted back down to $18. Same-store sales have declined for 18 of the past 21 months. By summer 2005, Pressler was referred to as "DMW," or "dead man walking," in the private-equity community.
The Gap board declined to pay Pressler a bonus in 2005, and director Meg Whitman of eBay (Research), who recommended him for the job and whom Pressler considers a strong backer, has announced she will step down when her term expires in May. (Whitman declined to comment.)
Members of the Fisher family own at least 37 percent of Gap Inc. stock. As long as they support Pressler -- which chairman Fisher insists they do -- the CEO is secure. Still, the question remains: Is a numbers guy from Disney the right person to lead Gap out of fashion limbo?