By  on April 14, 2014

Levi Strauss & Co. has named Marc Rosen, most recently senior vice president of global e-commerce at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to the new post of executive vice president and president of global e-commerce.

The appointment, effective May 5, makes e-commerce, previously part of Levi’s global retail function, a separate function reporting directly to Chip Bergh, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

Although it grew at a double-digit pace during the first quarter, e-commerce’s share of Levi’s sales in 2013 stood at about 2.6 percent, or $120 million of the firm’s $4.68 billion in revenues. Boosting both e-commerce and the company’s brick-and-mortar penetration are among Bergh’s priorities as ceo.

“Our e-commerce business has experienced strong, double-digit growth in the past few years,” Bergh said. “Investing in e-commerce continues to be a top priority for LS&Co. because of the sizeable upside opportunity that exists. We will establish digital flagship stores to drive omnichannel growth, optimize our presence on our wholesalers’ Web sites and continue to improve the overall consumer experience to drive brand loyalty.

“Marc’s track record of delivering industry-leading global e-commerce growth makes him the ideal leader to take our business to new levels of success,” Bergh concluded.

Prior to his most recent post at Wal-Mart, Rosen was senior vice president of information systems for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer with responsibility for its global merchandising, supply chain and store systems. He earlier held posts in Wal-Mart’s international division and at Ernst & Young.

“Levi Strauss invented a category more than 140 years ago and the company hasn’t stopped delivering market-leading innovation ever since,” Rosen said. “My goal is to deliver a leading-edge e-commerce experience for consumers that drives new levels of growth for the world’s global jeanswear leader.”

Levi’s said that Rosen’s priorities will include establishing levi.com and dockers.com as digital flagship stores, implementing advancements in systems and technology and focusing on Levi’s strongest growth markets, such as China, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

Levi’s, which has outsourced its e-commerce functions in the U.S. to a third party, will convert to a platform of its own this year, as it did in Europe last year.

In addition to its internal plans for e-commerce, the company has experienced growth through the e-commerce sites of a number of its wholesale customers, such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney Co. and El Corte Ingles, and through pure-play sites such as Amazon.com.

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