The CEO of Levi’s, Charles Bergh, revealed that one of his key strategies in turning around the company was to fire more than half of his executives. Bergh believed that by changing the people, he could change the culture of the company. He acknowledged that his biggest regret was not firing the wrong people fast enough. Despite facing challenges when he joined in 2011, including declining sales and erratic performance, Bergh successfully brought the once “broken” brand back into the limelight, delivering consecutive years of revenue growth. However, the company recently had to cut its 2023 profit outlook due to declining wholesale revenue and soft sales in the US market.
Bergh attributed Levi’s success to his ability to build an amazing team around him and jolt the company out of complacency. He will be stepping down as CEO next year, leaving a legacy of putting the brand at the center of the company’s culture. Although Levi’s has faced obstacles, such as adapting to changing consumer preferences for more comfortable and looser fit garments, one area of growth for the company is in Asia. Bergh highlighted that Levi’s is expanding its presence in Asia, opening bigger stores and experiencing an 18% increase in revenue from the region. However, Asia still accounts for less than 20% of the company’s total sales, providing a significant opportunity for growth in the future.