By  on July 18, 2006

NEW YORK — The Levi Strauss & Co. board wasted little time in naming John Anderson, former head of the denim giant's Asia-Pacific division, to succeed Phil Marineau as president and chief executive officer.

The San Francisco-based company said on Monday that its board met last Thursday — seven days after Marineau announced his retirement — and accepted Marineau's recommendation that Anderson take the reins. He will take over on Nov. 26.

"John has consistently delivered exceptional results in various leadership roles worldwide and has a tremendous following in the company," Marineau said in a statement. "John is keenly aware of what it will take to continue to build our brands and businesses globally."

Anderson, 55, a 27-year veteran of Levi Strauss, is the only executive reporting to Marineau, who predated his arrival in 1999. He was on vacation Monday and unavailable for comment. Anderson had established a productive relationship with Marineau, working with him over the last year, for example, to help find a new head of the company's languishing European business.

"I've worked closely with Phil on our business plans over the last few years and we're completely aligned on our strategic path," Anderson said during the company's conference call with analysts last week to discuss quarterly results.

Strong U.S. sales boosted Levi Strauss' results in the second quarter. Earnings for the three months ended May 28 shot up 50 percent to $40.2 million, compared with $26.8 million in the same period a year ago. However, the improvement was largely the result of a one-time income tax benefit stemming from a change the company made in the ownership structure of some of its foreign subsidiaries.

U.S. sales of the core Levi's brand and its Dockers division prevented a downturn in Europe that has persisted since early 2005 from weighing too heavily on results. Revenues for the quarter fell 0.9 percent to $953 million from $961.6 million in the year-ago period. Licensing revenue dropped 9 percent to $16.3 million from $18 million. Sales slipped 0.7 percent to $936.7 million from $943.7 million.

For the first half, earnings rose 26.9 percent to $94 million from $74.1 million. Revenues fell 3.4 percent to $1.91 billion from $1.98 billion. Sales declined 3.7 percent to $1.88 billion from $1.95 billion.

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