Levi Strauss announces transition of board chair
American denim and casual wear company Levi Strauss & Co. announced on Tuesday that Stephen C. Neal is stepping down from his position as board chair and will be succeeded by Bob A. Eckert.
Neal, who has been chair of the Levi Strauss board for a decade, will be leaving the role on March 26, having reached the mandatory board retirement age of 72. Eckert’s appointment as his replacement is effective on the same day.
According to the company, during his time as board chair, Neal played a key role in the group’s successful turnaround, as well as in its journey to going public.
“He has guided us through countless strategic decisions and supported our commitment to our values every step of the way,” commented Levi Strauss president and CEO Chip Bergh in a release.
As well as his time on the Levi Strauss board, Eckert’s previous experience includes serving as chairman of the board at toy manufacturer Mattel, Inc. from 2000 to 2012. He was also the company’s CEO from May 2000 to December 2011.
Prior to Mattel, Eckert worked at Kraft Food, Inc. for 23 years, serving in a range of roles, including president and CEO from 1997 to 2000.
“Bob has been a successful CEO and brings decades of experience with other large, global companies and more than 10 years of experience on our board,” added Bergh. “He understands our business, our strategies and our culture, and is the ideal person to lead the board into the future.”
“Levi Strauss & Co. is an iconic, global company that I’ve come to know well over my decade of service on the board,” said Eckert. “I look forward to continuing to work with the board and the leadership team in service to our shareholders and other stakeholders, and in support of the company’s long-standing commitment to delivering profits through principles.”
Merchandised under the Levi’s, Dockers, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co., and Denizen brands, Levi Strauss products are sold in more than 110 countries around the world. The company operates some 3,100 stores and shop-in-shops, and also distributes its products through retail chains, department stores and third-party websites.
The group reported net revenues of $4.5 billion in 2020.
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