PARIS — Levi Strauss & Co. on Tuesday appointed Paul Mason president of its Brussels-based European operation.

This story first appeared in the January 28, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Mason takes over from interim president John Anderson, who has shepherded Levi’s in Europe since Joe Middleton left last September. He starts Feb. 23 and reports to Phil Marineau, Levi’s San Francisco-based chief executive.

“I am especially looking forward to helping revitalize Levi’s…in Europe,” said Mason. “There are tremendous opportunities for growth ahead.”

The British-born Mason joins Levi’s after holding executive positions in various retail and consumer goods companies, including Asda, Wal-Mart and Mars. He will be responsible for forging strategy in Europe for Levi’s three brands — Levi’s, Dockers and the new mass market Signature label.

Recently, Levi’s has moved to shore up its business in Europe by opening freestanding stores and introducing Signature. Traditionally, Europe also has been the testing ground for Levi’s more innovative launches, including the successful Engineered line.