Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Pedestrians stroll previous a Levi’s retailer in Hong Kong.

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Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh is looking it quits and handing the reins over to his long-anointed successor Michelle Gass, the previous CEO of Kohl’s, the corporate introduced Thursday. 

Gass will take over the chief govt place on Jan. 29 whereas Bergh will formally retire on April 26. He’ll keep on as govt vice chair of the board till then. As soon as he retires, he’ll function an advisor via the top of the fiscal yr. 

“Chip has reworked this firm and can go away it much better than when he arrived. I do know we’ll proceed to profit from Chip’s strategic perspective as he continues to serve on the corporate’s board,” stated Bob Eckert, chairman of Levi’s board.

Bergh took over as Levi’s CEO in 2011 and is one in every of only a handful of people that has run the corporate and was not associated to its unique founder, Levi Strauss. Throughout Bergh’s tenure, he led Levi’s via its March 2019 preliminary public providing, its acquisition of Past Yoga and its deeper growth into ladies’s choices.

He additionally reworked the corporate right into a direct-to-consumer powerhouse that’s not solely reliant on its wholesale companions. In doing so, he reinvigorated the Levi’s model and saved it related regardless of its 170-year lengthy legacy.

“The Levi’s model is the strongest it has ever been, and as we pivot to grow to be extra of an omni-channel, direct-to-consumer retailer, it’s time for brand new management,” Bergh stated in an announcement. “Whereas I’ve recognized Michelle for greater than a decade, my time working intently along with her this previous yr has given me nice confidence that her expertise, monitor file of innovation and influence, and keenness for the enterprise will place the corporate for sustainable, worthwhile progress and vital shareholder and stakeholder worth creation.”

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Levi’s appointed Gass as its subsequent CEO in November 2022. She began at Levi’s in January, and was answerable for main the corporate’s namesake model, together with its product, merchandising and advertising and marketing features, together with its digital and world business operations. She has set her sights on boosting worldwide progress and transitioning the corporate right into a direct-to-consumer first group.

“I’m honored to be stepping in to steer this iconic model and firm, one which I’ve deeply admired and revered for a few years. Levi’s is greater than a denim icon; it is a part of our cultural cloth and an everlasting image of high quality, innovation and progress,” Gass stated in an announcement.

Just like many retailers, Levi’s has struggled to get customers to spend on attire as inflation straps buyers’ budgets. In October, the corporate minimize its full-year gross sales forecast for the second time this yr, saying it expects web revenues in a variety of flat to up 1% this yr.

Levi Strauss shares have fallen 1% this yr, trailing the roughly 19% achieve within the S&P 500.

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