You may have heard that we’ve just named a new president of Levi’s® brand: James Curleigh.
This was a critically important decision for us. And I want to tell you why I think James is the perfect fit for this iconic brand – and vice versa. If you’ve had the chance to hear him speak, and if you know anything about the Levi’s® brand, I think you’ll know what I mean.
James comes to us from Keen Footwear, where’s he’s president and chief executive officer. Keen’s a young company that, in a very short while, has had a significant impact on the outdoor industry. In fact, it’s one of the most innovative and fastest growing brands in that industry — named by Outside Magazine in 2011 as one of the best places to work.
Keen has developed a following that is the envy of any shoemaker, as evidenced by the significant growth in revenue and focus on profitability under James’ leadership. He’s also helped bring Keen products to 60 countries around the world.
James’ approach to innovation really resonated with me. He’s all about listening to consumers to understand what they want, and then delivering something that far exceeds their expectations.
To me, that sounds just like how this company got started. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis invented the blue jean, giving miners and other hard workers building the American West the perfect pant to wear on the job. And we’ve continued our product innovation to grow Levi’s® into an iconic brand that is more relevant today than ever before.
James’ business philosophy aligns perfectly with the Levi’s® brand. In addition to fostering innovation and building great teams, he has a strong commitment to the environment, embracing a sustainable approach to business. And he has a demonstrated record of giving back to the community.
As I said, a perfect fit.
I’m excited to bring James to the Levi’s® brand and to Levi Strauss & Co. I believe his fresh approach to business will inspire us to break new ground and continue to grow the brand. And I believe the people of Levi’s® are just the ones to welcome him and show him how we’ve gotten to where we are today.