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Michelle Gass Quits Kohl’s Joins Levi Strauss As President

Levi Strauss announced leadership change with the announcement of the change of the executive team. Michelle Gass, now CEO of Kohl’s, is the new president and will report to Chip Bergh CEO of Levi Straus. Gass will be responsible for the company’s global digital and commercial operation. Within the next 18 month she will succeed Bergh as CEO of the company.

Her direct-to-consumer experience and reinvention effort were cited by Levi Strauss as qualifying her for the position which she will assume on January 2, 2023 in San Francisco.

Michelle Gass will leave Kohl’s on December 2, 2022 and will also step down as a member of the board of directors. The board appointed as interim CEO Tom Kingsbury who will serve until a permanent CEO is found. A search committee has been appointed. Mr. Kingsbury was president and CEO of Burlington Stores
, Inc. Previously he served as SVP Information Services at Kohl’s and various positions at the May Company. He is well qualified to run the company at this time.

It has been a tough time for Gass. Activists have been circling the company for two years with demands of board replacement and other changes. Her leadership was questioned as some management members resigned. However, Peter Boneparth, board chair of Kohl’s, thanked Michelle for her many contributions [WL1] since she joined the company in 2013. He said “Under her leadership the company has driven a strategic transformation, expanded its partnership and brand portfolio and supported an inclusive and collaborative culture.

POSTSCRIPT: This is exiting news. Mr. Kingsbury is respected for his past leadership and could easily step into the CEO position. He is 70 years old and long term the company needs younger leadership that will visualize faster growth. Kohl’s is a viable retailer with great growth potential.

Congratulations to Ms. Gass on her appointment. Her leadership experience and merchandise savvy will help the continued growth of Levi Strauss.