The following message was originally shared with employees from CEO Chip Bergh regarding the retirement of David Love, executive vice president and president of Asia, Middle East and Africa for Levi Strauss & Co. David is leaving in January after nearly 40 years with the company.
Today, in addition to announcing our Q2 earnings results and related actions, we announced David Love’s retirement in January 2021. During his nearly 40 years at Levi Strauss & Co., David has been the ultimate team player. He started as a planner and subsequently held almost every leadership role across our operations organization.
When I arrived at LS&Co., David was our Chief Supply Chain Officer. In that capacity, he was responsible for thousands of people’s livelihoods and billions of dollars in resources. True to his nature, he always demonstrated an awareness of the immense responsibility we have to our people and our industry. David consistently lives our values in every interaction and decision, and is a fierce proponent for LS&Co., his team, sustainability and apparel workers. One of David’s many legacies as the Chief Supply Chain Officer was advocating to create our Eureka Innovation Center in San Francisco, relocating it from Corlu, Turkey. So many great innovations have come from Eureka in the last seven years. There is little dispute that Eureka has been instrumental in the company’s success over the last six years. In many ways, David was my most important thought partner when I joined LS&Co. He has always been a tireless advocate for change. After I joined the team, he put his weight behind the strategic choices we needed to drive, and his full support gave me credibility as a newcomer and an industry outsider.
During our time together, David has always driven for continuous improvement. He speaks the brutal truth and commits to finding solutions. That’s why we appointed him our Chief Transformation Officer in 2016. In that role, David helped us achieve more than $300 million in savings, streamlined many of our processes and helped create the fuel which has contributed to our growth in recent years.
Almost four years ago, David raised his hand and said he was ready for a new challenge – and he surprised me when he asked for the opportunity to lead our business in Asia. David had never let me down; so I leaned in knowing that he would not fail. He and his wife, Jayne, returned to Singapore in 2016, and since then, he has brought his steady hand and thoughtful leadership to every aspect of the region. None of us could have predicted the numerous challenges and crises he and his team would face – in just four years, our business and operations in Asia have managed through economic uncertainty, drought, a global pandemic, civil unrest and terrorism. It seems every week brings a new challenge, yet despite all that, David and his team have delivered unprecedented growth.
Clearly, I am going to miss David’s partnership and presence as a trusted colleague. He has always been “Company First” and never about himself. It is hard to find someone who cares so passionately about the company, has such humility and is always willing to do “whatever it takes” to drive the company forward. His integrity, values and kindness are part of what makes him such an ideal leader. I will miss him greatly.
David has agreed to continue in his current role until January 2021. Until then, he’ll remain focused on leading our [Asia] region and driving results. Anyone who knows David knows that he works night and day managing all aspects of the business while steadfastly working side by side with his team.
David doesn’t know how to give less than 100 percent, so I expect we will see a lot more great things from him over the next six months. But for now, let’s take a moment to thank David for nearly four decades of service to LS&Co. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the GLT, your regional and supply chain colleagues and the rest of the organization, we are immensely grateful to you, David.