In a recent interview with CNBC, Levi Strauss & Co’s CEO, Charles Bergh, candidly discussed some of the regrets he holds regarding staffing-related decisions during his tenure.
Bergh acknowledged, “This is a corny saying, and it gets said a lot, but probably not exiting people soon enough when I knew there was something not right, not making the right people moves fast enough, not moving really talented people ahead fast enough”
He added that some individuals were retained longer than they should have been, leading to personnel leaving the company.
Bergh emphasized the critical role of people within the organization, stating, “At the end of the day it’s a people game”
Headquartered in California, Levi Strauss & Co had approximately 18,000 employees as of late November, as stated in their latest annual report.
Under Bergh’s leadership since 2011, the company, known for its Levi’s brand, experienced substantial financial growth, with significant revenue spikes in 2017 and 2018, as reported by CNBC.
To drive change in the company’s trajectory, Bergh mentioned that he made significant changes within the first 1.5 years of his tenure, including letting go of nine out of his 11 direct reports.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Levi Strauss & Co’s market capitalization stood at around $5.16 billion, with its share value having experienced a decrease of over 18.5% in the past 12 months.
In the near future, Bergh is set to step down as CEO, making way for Michelle Gass, the current President of Levi Strauss & Co and former Kohl’s CEO. The transition is expected within the next 18 months, according to the company’s announcement in November.
Bergh emphasized that the precise timing of Gass assuming the CEO role is a decision to be made by the board. He expressed optimism, stating, “The transition is progressing very smoothly, and I have high confidence that it will be seamless.
Following Gass’s move to Levi Strauss & Co, Kohl’s appointed Tom Kingsbury as its new CEO.
Levi Strauss & Co is set to release its third-quarter results next week. Earlier in July, the company announced nearly $3.03 billion in net revenues for the first two quarters of the year, slightly down from the $3.06 billion generated during the same period last year.