At Levi Strauss & Co. we’re lucky to have talented leaders all around the world. And we’re even luckier that we have people like Santiago Cucci and Diana Dimitian who are always up for a new challenge. This month, Santiago, currently vice president and South Europe managing director, will be moving to LS&Co.’s global headquarters in San Francisco to take on a newly created role of senior vice president and U.S. managing director. And Diana, currently vice president and managing director of Canada, will be moving to France to become our leader of South Europe.
To get to know these leaders a little more we’ve asked them a few questions about how they’re thinking about the challenges and opportunities ahead in their new roles.
Santiago, what is your new role at LS&Co.?
My overall responsibility is to manage the U.S. business profitably by delivering sustained, leveraged growth. At the same time, my focus will be to oversee the best consumer experience in line with our brand strategies while building the most engaged, passionate and capable team in the business.
Diana, what made you decide to take the role as managing director of South Europe?
I have had various Canadian and North American work assignments throughout my career. I was seeking an international assignment to round off my experience, and I am honored that the leadership of the company was supportive of me taking on this European role. The European market is one of our most important globally and, as a leading apparel lifestyle company, if our brands are prominent in Europe in market share and equity, it has a halo effect on all other global markets, including the Americas.
Santiago, you and Diana both have had a lot of success over the past few years in your respective markets. If you had to boil down your definition of success to one sentence, what would it be?
For me, demonstrable success appears when the team is fully engaged and recognized as best-in class among its customers, consumers and peers.
Diana, what lessons will you take with you from your success in Canada?
The Canadian consumer came first and foremost in our strategies, and execution. This would be a lesson I will definitely take with me. Another lesson and success factor I would highlight would be that we had a very diverse management team at Levi Strauss Canada. I believe it was the diversity at the top that created change and resulted in the Canadian dynamic growth momentum. Diversity in a team can make all the difference in culture, and performance results.
Diana and Santiago, what is the advantage of having leaders like you at LS&Co. who are able to go into new markets and bring a global perspective to the business?
The advantage of these types of leadership moves and talent “exchanges” is that LS&Co. can more naturally and organically share best practices across regions. We are winning in both the Americas and European markets today, and there’s a reason for that. To propel forward we need to challenge ourselves and our teams with new frontiers, and in cases of our leaders, even new geographies.