It also led to some speculation, causing many to question whether there was more to the story behind his seemingly sudden exit. But Gap lead independent director Bobby Martin told CNBC there's nothing else behind the move, and that it was Murphy's decision to exit the company.
In fact, he said Murphy began talking with the Gap board at the beginning of the year about his desire to retire, and the board wanted him to stay.
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He added that Murphy chose his timing to allow for this orderly transition, and because he felt the company is at an inflection point.
"We would have loved for him to stay, but we accepted his very personal choice and appreciate his willingness to stay for the smooth transition," Martin said.