Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass leaves for Levi Strauss

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about four and a half years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Gass
  • Tom Kingsbury taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor
  • Gass kept it short and said 56 words

(exechange) — Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, November 8, 2022 — Michelle Gass, chief executive of Kohl’s, leaves her position. As announced by Kohl’s Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, Michelle D. Gass leaves her post as chief executive officer at the omnichannel retailer, after about four and a half years in the role, effective December 2, 2022.

Kohl’s will undertake a search for a successor.

Michelle Gass’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Thomas A. (Tom) Kingsbury, a former Chief Executive Officer at Burlington Stores, Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

Kingsbury is already a director of Kohl’s. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Kingsbury understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Kohl’s’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

Career change

Michelle Gass’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Kohl’s said: “Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass plans to step down as CEO and member of the Kohl’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), effective December 2, 2022, to accept another opportunity.”

Gass will be president at Levi Strauss and is set to succeed Chip Bergh as CEO within the next 18 months

“Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI) today announced leadership changes in its executive team with the appointment of Michelle Gass to the new position of president, LS&Co., reporting to Chip Bergh, president & CEO. Gass will be responsible for leading the Levi’s® brand and the company’s global digital and commercial operations. With this announcement, the board of directors has put in motion a succession plan for Gass to succeed Bergh as CEO within the next 18 months. Gass will begin her role with the company on January 2 and is expected to join the LS&Co. Board of Directors on her start date,” Levi Strauss & Co. said.

Levi Strauss & Co. announced the move on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Levi Strauss is a clothing company known worldwide for its Levi’s brand of denim jeans.

“Step down/resigned”

Kohl’s said: “Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass plans to step down as CEO and member of the Kohl’s Board of Directors (the “Board”), effective December 2, 2022, to accept another opportunity.”

Kohl’s further said: “On November 6, 2022, Michelle Gass resigned her positions as Chief Executive Officer of the Company and a member of its Board of Directors (the “Board”), effective December 2, 2022.”

“Not the result of any disagreement”

“Ms. Gass’s resignation from the Board was not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” Kohl’s said.

Share price decline since May 2018

The announcement follows a decline in Kohl’s Corp.’s share price of 57% since May 2018. May 2018 is the month in which Gass’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Michelle Gass became CEO of the Company in 2018.

Gass has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and as a director since May 2018.

Gass was promoted to CEO-elect in October 2017.

She was named Chief Merchandising and Customer Officer in June 2015, and joined the Company in 2013 as Chief Customer Officer.

Gass has more than 30 years of experience in the retail and consumer goods industries.

Prior to joining the Company, she spent more than 16 years with Starbucks holding a variety of leadership roles across marketing, strategy, merchandising, and operations, including president, Starbucks Europe, Middle East, and Africa. She began her career with Procter & Gamble.

Gass has received numerous professional honors, including being named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business and Businessperson of the Year lists, as well as being named The Visionary 2020 by the National Retail Federation.

Gass currently serves on the Board of Directors for PepsiCo, Retail Industry Leaders Association, National Retail Federation, and Children’s Wisconsin.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding Michelle Gass’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Kohl’s and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 46.2022 ($).