Get to know our new and recently promoted leaders at Levi Strauss & Co. through these Quick Qs. Meet Michelle Gass, our new president, LS&Co.
What did you do before joining LS&Co.?
I had the privilege of being the CEO of Kohl’s for the last five years. I am proud of so many things the organization accomplished during this time — navigating unprecedented challenges, building a robust omnichannel capability, driving innovation and enhancing our culture. When I started at Kohl’s nearly 10 years ago, Chip and the Levi’s® team were the first brand partners I met, and I was immediately struck by the passion and love the team had for the Levi’s® brand and the company. I have long admired and been inspired by LS&Co. and the team, and I am now so honored to become part of it.
What attracted you to LS&Co.?
For me it always starts with the people. I’ve had the benefit of getting to know many leaders and team members of LS&Co. over the years, and everyone has been incredible. It is clear to me that the values of the company — empathy, originality, integrity and courage — are embraced and lived by, and are very aligned to my own. I am also very excited about all the opportunities ahead for LS&Co. Levi’s® is a global icon, and very few companies and brands have both an enduring and rich history as well as tremendous potential ahead.
Do you have a favorite personal story about LS&Co. or one of our products?
My husband was wearing Levi’s® when we first met more than 30 years ago. We’ve been married for 28 years and have two children. We all love living in our Levi’s®!
How do you unwind?
I love to be active. I do some type of physical activity pretty much every morning, which is energizing but also gives me time to think and reflect. I have been a runner for about 25 years, and I also like to do cycling workouts and yoga. Our family loves to hike and be outdoors, and we are excited to explore the many places to go in the Bay Area.
What’s one thing that no one would guess about you?
Many people are surprised when they learn that my undergraduate degree is in chemical engineering. While that may seem like quite a contrast to what I do today, the problem-solving skills I learned as an engineer have served as a great foundation for so much of my work in business over the years.