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Seth Ellison Named President of Dockers

He joins the company from Alternative Apparel.

Levi Strauss & Co. has named Seth Ellison president of the global Dockers brand, effective Sept. 10. He joins the company from Los Angeles-based fashion basics maker Alternative Apparel, where he has been executive vice president and chief commercial officer since 2009.

This story first appeared in the September 7, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In his new role, Ellison will manage the strategic direction, marketing and product development of the Dockers brand, reporting to Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. He succeeds Anne Rohosy, who was appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president and president of commercial operations, Americas and Europe, for Levi Strauss & Co. in February.

“Seth has a proven track record of driving growth in the apparel industry, growing both large, established brands and start-ups,” said Bergh.

Ellison has more than 30 years of experience in the apparel industry. From 2005 to 2009, he was president of the swimwear group at Perry Ellis International. Earlier in his career, he was president of Nike Inc.’s Hurley International LLC business and vice president and general manager of Nike apparel for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

In recent years, the Dockers business has been shrinking as a total percentage of Levi Strauss & Co. sales. The brand accounted for about 12 percent of company sales in 2011, 15 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009. The substantial majority of Dockers sales are in the Americas region, although the brand is sold in more than 50 countries.

For the first half of this year, Dockers sales declined, reflecting a decrease in sales to certain wholesale customers and to lower-margin channels. The brand has aimed to capture younger customers with slimmer styles in a range of colors, including its new D-Zero khaki, which it is bringing to the U.S. from Europe.

In the three months ended May 27, Levi Strauss & Co. posted a 36.9 percent decline in net income, to $13.2 million from $20.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue in the quarter decreased 4.2 percent to $1.05 billion from $1.09 billion.