MarketWatch First Take: Kohl’s CEO Gass steps down to join Levi’s


Kohl’s Corp. CEO Michelle Gass is stepping down to join Levi Strauss & Co. as president. She’ll also be next in line as the company’s chief executive.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Kohl’s

announced that Gass will step down effective Dec. 2. Director Tom Kingsbury will serve as the company’s interim CEO from Dec. 2 until a permanent replacement for Gass is named.

Gass will begin her new role as president of Levi Strauss

on Jan. 2. Levi’s has also put in place a plan for Gass to succeed CEO Chip Bergh within the next 18 months.

Also read: Kohl’s stock charges higher after upbeat profit outlook, CEO to step down

“We are delighted that an executive with Michelle’s background, experience and stature is joining as president to work side by side with Chip for a meaningful transition period before becoming CEO,” said Bob Eckert, chairman of the Levi Strauss board. “Michelle’s deep retail and omni-channel experience combined with her track record of building brands and meaningful innovation is a perfect fit for the skills needed to lead this company for the long term and create significant value for our stakeholders.”

Gass, who joined Kohl’s in 2013 as chief customer officer, became the company’s chief merchandising and customer officer in 2015. She was promoted to CEO-elect in October 2017 and became CEO in May 2018.

Kohl’s stock rose 8.7% on Tuesday, while Levi’s stock fell 1.5%. The S&P 500 Index

is up 0.8% on Tuesday.

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