Levi Strauss CEO Says ‘Largest Remorse’ Is Not Firing Extra Individuals


Within the wake of mass layoffs and a risky job market, many CEOs say making cuts and restructuring selections might be powerful.

However for Levi Strauss CEO Charles Bergh, there’s nothing powerful about it.

In a brand new interview with CNBC, Bergh claims that he fired greater than half of the highest executives on the firm when he took over in September 2011.

“The simplest strategy to change the tradition is to vary the individuals. I had 11 direct reviews, and within the first 18 months, 9 of them had been gone,” Bergh informed CNBC in an interview.

Profile shoot of Charles V Bergh, President & Chief Government Officer of Levi Strauss & Co. (Getty Pictures)

When Bergh took over as CEO, the corporate was making an attempt to resonate with youthful consumers.

“The corporate’s efficiency had been actually erratic for greater than 10 years,” he stated. “One 12 months the revenues would go up, however the earnings would go down. The following 12 months, they’d repair the earnings, however the revenues went down.”

However as Bergh applied modifications to the corporate’s enterprise mannequin, he informed CNBC that his greatest remorse was that he did not let sufficient individuals go quickly sufficient.

“My greatest remorse is that we did not lean into a few of these nice leaders, and we misplaced some as a result of I held on to any individual longer than I ought to have,” he stated bluntly.

Bergh is about to step down as CEO subsequent 12 months. He will likely be succeeded by former Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass.

Associated: Levi’s AI Fashions, Meant to Up Range, Increase Severe Questions

Levi Strauss is coming off a rougher-than-expected Q2 2023 after reporting a excessive drop off in wholesale income and smooth gross sales in its U.S. market.

General gross sales had been $1.34 billion, a 9% lower from the $1.47 billion in gross sales the corporate noticed on the similar time final 12 months.

Levi Strauss was down simply over 18.6% in a one-year interval as of Wednesday afternoon.

Associated: Uncommon Classic Levi’s Promote for Extra Than $87,000 at Public sale


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