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Levi Strauss CEO Says ‘Greatest Remorse’ Is Not Firing Extra Individuals

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Within the wake of mass layoffs and a risky job market, many CEOs say making cuts and restructuring choices will be powerful.

However for Levi Strauss CEO Charles Bergh, there’s nothing powerful about it.

In a brand new interview with CNBC, Bergh claims that he fired greater than half of the highest executives on the firm when he took over in September 2011.

“The best technique to change the tradition is to vary the individuals. I had 11 direct reviews, and within the first 18 months, 9 of them had been gone,” Bergh instructed CNBC in an interview.

Profile shoot of Charles V Bergh, President & Chief Govt Officer of Levi Strauss & Co. (Getty Pictures)

When Bergh took over as CEO, the corporate was attempting to resonate with youthful patrons.

“The corporate’s efficiency had been actually erratic for greater than 10 years,” he stated. “One yr the revenues would go up, however the income would go down. The subsequent yr, they might repair the income, however the revenues went down.”

However as Bergh carried out modifications to the corporate’s enterprise mannequin, he instructed CNBC that his largest remorse was that he did not let sufficient individuals go quickly sufficient.

“My largest remorse is that we did not lean into a few of these nice leaders, and we misplaced some as a result of I held on to any individual longer than I ought to have,” he stated bluntly.

Bergh is ready to step down as CEO subsequent yr. He might be succeeded by former Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass.

Associated: Levi’s AI Fashions, Meant to Up Variety, Increase Critical Questions

Levi Strauss is coming off a rougher-than-expected Q2 2023 after reporting a excessive drop off in wholesale income and delicate gross sales in its U.S. market.

General gross sales had been $1.34 billion, a 9% lower from the $1.47 billion in gross sales the corporate noticed on the identical time final yr.

Levi Strauss was down simply over 18.6% in a one-year interval as of Wednesday afternoon.

Associated: Uncommon Classic Levi’s Promote for Extra Than $87,000 at Public sale

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