Meet Dr. Amy Gershkoff Bolles, LS&Co.’s new Global Head of Digital and Emerging Technology Strategy. In her new role, Dr. Bolles will be responsible for strategy and roadmap execution focused on our business, process and product digitization; on digital asset creation and digital upskilling; for LS&Co.’s participation in the digital economy; and for a holistic, consumer-centric approach to digital and emerging technologies.
What did you do before joining LS&Co.?
I’m a serial entrepreneur, and I love harnessing the power of new technologies to transform businesses. I’ve founded and led my own successful technology startup, and multiple times have started new businesses or launched new products inside existing companies that drove growth and transformation. I have both a technical and operational background, having been both a Chief Data Officer and a GM and COO, and that combination allows me to see the opportunity of new technologies as well as think through the operational models that drive customer and commercial value. I’ve also had experience innovating inside different size and stage companies, having had executive leadership roles at large, global, public companies, as well as C-Level, Board or Advisory roles at venture and private-equity backed companies. Despite differences in size and stage of company, I’ve found that there are common threads for successful, swift, impactful innovation: always start with a customer-centric approach, rather than a technology-centered approach, engage in rapid testing and learning, and build for scale.
What attracted you to LS&Co.?
What attracted me to LS&Co. is the opportunity to think about the future of such an iconic brand. LS&Co. has been a leading brand for more than 150 years; the question is, what will the next 150 years look like? How will LS&Co. evolve and change to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 22nd century consumer? What role will emerging technologies and the digital world play in the lives of consumers over the next 150 years? These are exciting questions to tackle in the coming months and years, and I’m looking forward to partnering with leaders across all areas of our business as we shape our global digital and emerging technology strategy.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I often receive invitations to networking events, or to hear a speaker, or meet a professional friend for lunch. It’s incredibly difficult to find the time to engage in these activities with a demanding job, and I used to constantly find myself saying no because I had too many items on my “to do” list. But every time I have made time to engage in these outside conversations, I find them incredibly helpful: I gain a new perspective on an issue or challenge my team is facing, or perhaps I gain new ideas about how to innovate within my organization. So, my advice to my younger self would be, as often as you can, to try to make time for these external events, because the time you lose making progress on your punch list will be more than made up for by the new perspective and insights you’ll gain.
What is your favorite quote?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
What’s one thing that no one would guess about you?
I’m an avid baseball fan and have been to all but 3 major league baseball parks and have attended games at several minor league parks as well. Once I got to throw out a pitch from the pitcher’s mound at Wrigley Field! (But I remain a San Francisco Giants fan at heart.)
Get to know our new and recently promoted leaders at Levi Strauss & Co. through these Quick Qs.