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Robert Hanson to Exit Levi’s

Brand president had been with company for 23 years.

Robert Hanson, global president of the Levi’s brand, is exiting Levi Strauss & Co., WWD has learned.

This story first appeared in the November 4, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The San Francisco-based company divulged the move to its license partners via an e-mail late Thursday. Hanson relayed his decision to fellow employees via a blog post on the Levi Strauss & Co. corporate Web site on Thursday, as well.

“After an incredible, almost 24-year career with Levi Strauss & Co., it’s time for a new chapter in my life, time for me to ‘Go Forth,’” wrote Hanson, referencing the current Levi’s advertising campaign.

Hanson will remain with the company for a transition period until Nov. 27. A Levi Strauss & Co. spokeswoman said the company did not have further details on a potential replacement for his position. The company did not issue a press release on Hanson’s impending departure and he was unavailable to comment on his future career plans.

Hanson began his career with Levi Strauss & Co. in 1988 as an advertising manager and has steadily moved up the ranks of the denim giant. His previous positions there include vice president of marketing and brand development for Dockers, president of Levi’s for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and president of Levis Strauss Americas.

Hanson is a member of the company’s worldwide leadership team, which sets the company’s global strategic direction.

In September, Chip Bergh joined Levi Strauss & Co. as chief executive officer from Procter & Gamble Co., assuming the role from John Anderson, who retired after 32 years with the company.

In his blog message, Hanson pointed to some of the Levi’s brand’s most recent achievements as highlights of his tenure there, including the introduction of Levi’s Curve ID jeans for women, the eco-friendly Water<Less collection and the Cycling Commuter Series of bicycle-friendly jeans.