The top European marketing position at Levi Strauss is vacant following the promotion of Robert Hanson, president of Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), to company president, based in the US.
Hanson’s promotion follows the resignation of James Capon less than two years after the company veteran took on the presidential role.
Hanson, who joined Levi’s in 1988, created and introduced Levi’s Engineered Jeans, which are ergonomically designed to fit both men and women, and one of the company’s more popular recent introductions. Prior to his European role, Hanson was the director, then vice-president, of Dockers’ brand marketing in the US.
The president of Levi Strauss EMEA, Joe Middleton, will step in to lead the Levi’s brand for the region until Hanson’s successor is named.
Capon was with Levi’s for 21 years. He is credited with turning Dockers, Levi’s casual trousers business, into a $1bn-a-year (&£715m-a-year) business during the Nineties during his six-year tenure as president.
It is understood that Levi’s president and chief executive, Philip Marineau, was not satisfied with the progress of the Levi brand under Capon’s stewardship.
The company’s like-for-like first quarter net sales declined eight per cent, to $996m from $1,082m (&£712.3m from &£773.9m) in the first quarter of 2000. Levi’s was founded 148 years ago.