Friday, July 07, 2006

Levi's CEO Retiring

The 58-year-old CEO plans to retire this year, after nearly 7 years as captain of the Levi Strauss ship.

Levi's PR:

Philip A. Marineau, chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO.), announced that he plans to retire from the company at the end of 2006. He also said that John Anderson, currently president of LS&CO.'s Asia Pacific Division and president of the company's global supply chain organization, has been promoted to chief operating officer, effective immediately.

"The timing is right," said Marineau. "I have accomplished what I set out to do and have the opportunity now to turn over the operations of the company to the next generation of leadership. The business has turned around from when I joined more than six years ago and is in much stronger financial shape. We have transformed LS&CO. from being primarily a jeanswear manufacturer into a highly competitive global marketer and distributor of apparel."

Marineau added, "I am announcing this now in order to ensure a smooth transition. During the next several months, I will continue to work side-by-side with John Anderson as he assumes the chief operating officer role. Based on more than 27 years of experience, John is the ideal apparel executive to lead the company's widespread operations. I will stay fully engaged in the business until the end of the calendar year working with John and our leadership teams worldwide to build on our momentum in the marketplace and bring our business plans to fruition."

"Phil has led LS&CO. through a successful business turnaround, and he will be leaving an impressive legacy of achievement," said Bob Haas, the company's chairman. "Thanks to Phil, we have significantly improved our competitiveness across all dimensions of the business. Our upgraded Levi's and Dockers product lines are resonating with consumers again, and with the launch of the Levi Strauss Signature brand we have expanded our market reach to include value-conscious shoppers in the sizeable mass channel. Additionally, under Phil's leadership the company today is more disciplined, focused and efficient, resulting in faster responses to marketplace trends and more reliable service to our retail customers.

Haas added, "Phil has assembled a talented management team, blending experienced LS&CO. veterans and new leaders who add needed skills. The board of directors, shareholders and I deeply appreciate Phil's dedicated service and important contributions to the company. We feel confident that his leadership team will continue to build on the strong foundation that Phil has established."

Haas said that the company's board of directors would be meeting within the next two weeks to reaffirm the company's CEO succession plan and discuss the timing of naming Marineau's replacement.

John Anderson, 55, has been leading the Asia Pacific Division since 1998 and the company's global supply chain organization since March 2004. In addition to the markets throughout Asia Pacific, the division includes Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Anderson joined LS&CO. in 1979 as a product manager in Australia. He was promoted through a series of increasingly responsible merchandising positions in Europe and the United States, including vice president, merchandising and product development for the U.S. Levi's brand in 1995. Anderson served as general manager of Levi Strauss Canada and as president of Levi Strauss Canada and Latin America from 1996 to 1998. He also was the interim president of Levi Strauss Europe from September 2003 to February 2004.

"John Anderson is recognized both within the company and throughout the apparel industry as an exceptionally talented and accomplished senior leader," said Marineau. "He and his Asia Pacific Division team have delivered five consecutive years of double-digit revenue growth and six years of double-digit profit growth. John is a catalyst for innovation and has a record of inspiring teams to achieve peak performance. As a result, he has earned the respect of the board and our suppliers, customers and employees. We are fortunate to have him as our new chief operating officer."

Levi Strauss & Co.