In a move designed to help the company recapture its roots, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. will today name former Levi Strauss & Co. executive Robert Cameron senior vice president of marketing.

This story first appeared in the January 5, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

At PacSun, Cameron, formerly vice president of Levi’s Brand Marketing, will be responsible for creating a differentiated experience at the company’s 897 stores around the U.S. as well as on its Web site. He will also work with the company’s major brands to re-create the California lifestyle at its stores. This is a new position.

“Robert has a tremendous track record of building brands and creating world-class customer experiences, particularly in the youth segment,” said PacSun president and chief executive officer Gary Schoenfeld. “We’ll leverage his background to reclaim our position as the favorite place for 15- to 24-year-olds to shop.”

At Levi’s, Cameron is credited with modernizing the company’s brands and implementing new media strategies. Prior to Levi’s, he was a founding partner and chief creative officer of Fantascope Inc., a strategic branding agency that worked on projects including the “Lord of the Rings” movie, M&Ms retail stores and several online initiatives for MTV.

PacSun has been struggling with its identity lately and, in mid-November, the Anaheim, Calif.-based retailer lowered its expectations for holiday sales after a “precipitous decline” in business during the third quarter. For the period ended Oct. 31, PacSun registered a loss of $10.9 million, compared with a loss of $2.5 million a year ago. Net sales fell 17.1 percent to $268.3 million from $323.6 million and comparable-store sales slid 18 percent.

At that time, Schoenfeld said the company would close as many as 150 doors within three years and work to uncover a “deeper understanding” of its different customers.

“Simply put, we are missing sales, hurting our margins and damaging the customer experience by having had too much of a one-size-fits-all approach to merchandising,” Schoenfeld said at the time.

Schoenfeld joined the retailer as ceo in June, succeeding Sally Frame Kasaks. Before joining PacSun, he served as president and ceo of Vans Inc. for nine years.

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