Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass to depart for position at Levi Strauss

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Designer Vera Wang and Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass arrive at the 41st Annual Outstanding Mother Awards on May 9, 2019 in New York City. Gass will be leaving her position as CEO of Kohl’s on Dec. 2. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 8 (UPI) — Kohl’s Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass will be leaving her position effective Dec. 2 to take on a head role at Levi Strauss, the companies announced Tuesday.

Gass will also be stepping down from Kohl’s board of directors, the company said.

“The Board is grateful for Michelle’s many contributions since she joined the company in 2013. Under her leadership, the company has driven a strategic transformation, expanded its partnerships and brand portfolio, and supported an inclusive and collaborative culture,” said Board Chair Peter Boneparth “on behalf of all Kohl’s associates, we wish her well in her next endeavor.”

In a separate release, Levi Strauss announced that Gass would be stepping into the position of president at LS&Co under current CEO Chip Bergh as part of a succession plan that will see Gass take over as CEO within the next 18 months.

“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 chairman of the LS&Co. board of directors Bob Eckert.

The board of directors at Kohl’s has appointed Tom Kingsbury to the position of Interim CEO until a permanent successor is chosen by a special committee selected to oversee the process.

“I’m proud and humbled to take the Interim CEO role during such an important time for the company,” said Kingsbury, who previously served as Senior Executive Vice President of Kohl’s.

Kohl’s experienced significant fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, with sales plummeting 20% in 2020. Though sales did subsequently bounce back with the reopening of stores, they never climbed back to pre-pandemic levels.

Kohl’s anticipates a third-quarter decrease of 6.9% in comparable sales and 7.2% in net sales when measured against last year’s third quarter.

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