In a move aimed at creating a seamless consumer experience for its brands around the world, Levi Strauss & Co. on Thursday realigned its management organization. The $4.1 billion San Francisco-based company promoted three executives to lead its Levi’s, Dockers and Denizen brands on a global basis, altering a structure that previously saw executives responsible for specific regions.
Robert Hanson was named executive vice president of Levi Strauss & Co. and president of the global Levi’s brand, Jim Calhoun was named executive vice president and president of the global Dockers brand and Aaron Boey was named executive vice president and president of the newly created Denizen brand. Boey will also oversee the Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. business, which is sold in the mass channel in the U.S. All three report to John Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co.
As part of the management shuffle, Armin Broger, president of Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East and Africa, will exit the company on Nov. 28.
The changes are meant to ensure that consumers receive a consistent global message about each brand. Previously, the company created products and advertising campaigns by region.
Hanson was formerly senior vice president and president, Levi Strauss Americas; Boey was formerly president of Levi Strauss Asia Pacific, and Calhoun was formerly president and commercial general manager of Dockers.
“We believe global brand leadership is the most effective way to deepen our connections with consumers, respond to changing tastes and attitudes, and grow in an increasingly dynamic international marketplace,” said Anderson. “We are taking a disciplined approach to become more consumer-focused and responsive, and more consistent in our brand presentation and retail experiences around the world. These steps are part of our strategic plan to enhance the way we serve our consumers, advance our growth and improve our financial performance.”
Hanson added that while there are some differences between various markets around the world, those idiosyncrasies are narrowing. “Consumers expect a consistent experience from global iconic brands like Levi’s and Dockers. They want product that fits the same way and retail experiences that are exceptional and familiar and represent the same values wherever they interact with them,” he pointed out. “Consumers are increasingly borderless because of the reach of digital media. For instance, we have 1.4 million Facebook fans and 40 percent of them are outside the U.S.”
Hanson and Calhoun are based at Levi Strauss headquarters in San Francisco, as is Anderson. Boey is based in Singapore, where he leads the rollout of Denizen, a new entry-price-point denim lifestyle brand targeted at young consumers in emerging economies. Denizen is available in several Asian markets, but Levi Strauss plans to bring it to Mexico, Brazil and eventually the U.S. in coming years, said Hanson.
In 2009, the Levi’s brand accounted for 79 percent of company sales, Dockers for 16 percent and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. for 5 percent.
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