Levi’s US President Resigns; Euro Boss Takes Over

19 June 2001

President of Levi Strauss in the US James Capon has resigned after less than two years in charge. No reason for the departure was given.

Replacing Capon, who succeeded Robert Holloway in November 1998, is European president Robert Hanson, whose stewardship witnessed a successful few years for the company across the Atlantic. His duties will in turn be handled by EMEA president Joe Middleton

“[Hanson] is the ultimate leader of the brand in terms of marketing and product development,” eulogised Levi’s Jeff Beckman. “He is the guy who set the pan-European strategic vision for the Levi’s brand. He was the one who said we really need to reinvent the Levi’s brand for younger consumers in Europe.”

The company is hoping Hanson can recreate this success in the US, where it has been steadily losing market share to rivals such as Lee. This has been reflected in the denim giant’s advertising – American campaigns from the San Francisco offices of FCB Worldwide and TBWA/Chiat/Day have failed to have the same impact among young consumers as those in Europe from Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

However, Beckman insisted that there were “no plans” for an agency review, adding: “Right now, our plan is to bring [Hanson] in here and get him integrated into the US Levi’s brand.”

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline