The U.S. National Retail Federation today announced that it will name Levi Strauss & Co. President and CEO Chip Bergh as “The Visionary,” an award given each year to an outstanding leader in the retail industry. The award will be presented during the fifth annual NRF Foundation Gala on January 13, 2019, in New York City.
The Visionary is presented to a retail executive with a proven track record of orchestrating change in the industry. Earlier this year, prominent retail executives were asked to identify an individual who has changed and continues to transform the retail landscape in a positive way. Bergh was selected due to the momentous turnaround Levi Strauss & Co. has experienced under his leadership. In addition, his commitment to strategically seizing opportunities for growth, pushing the envelope on sustainability and championing innovation has been instrumental in returning Levi’s to its iconic glory.
“Retail has been and remains one of the most dynamic industries in the world. To succeed, retail leaders must have passion, commitment, vision and an understanding of how this business impacts the diversity of their customers in communities large and small,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Chip is one of those exceptional leaders who brings everything together seamlessly and succeeds by growing his business with the latest technologies. Throughout, Chip has stayed true to the culture, keeping a firm grip on the pulse of his customers but constantly seeking out new and better ways to meet the demands of next generation Levi loyalists, and pioneering with a sense of servant leadership that inspires his employees, his customers and other business leaders.”
Former recipients of The Visionary award include Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker and Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon.
Bergh will also be a keynote speaker at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show where he will address over 3,000 retailers from nearly 100 countries as they gather in New York in January to address the latest trends, innovations and strategies for transformation at the National Retail Federation’s 108th annual convention.
“Returning an iconic American company back to growth and the center of culture is only possible when you have a team with shared vision and values,” Bergh said. “We believe that the role business plays in the world today is far greater than just delivering a profit – it’s about taking responsibility for tackling the important societal issues of our time and having the courage to take a stand. I’m incredibly proud of the work this team has done to set a higher bar for others to follow.”
Bergh, who serves on Levi Strauss & Co.’s board of directors, joined the company as president and CEO in 2011 and is responsible for a nearly $5 billion enterprise that operates in more than 110 countries with more than 2,900 retail stores and global distribution of its Levi’s®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ and Denizen® brands.
Prior to LS&Co., Bergh worked at Proctor & Gamble for 28 years in a series of leadership positions with a focus on brand management, ultimately becoming group president of global male grooming brands. Among other duties he ran the Folgers coffee and Jif peanut butter brands, was in charge of the integration of Gillette after its acquisition in 2005 and oversaw the launch of Swiffer and the remarketing of Old Spice. Before that, he ran P&G’s international business in India, Southeast Asia and Australia.
In addition to his work at Levi Strauss & Co. and P&G, Bergh was named chairman of the Hewlett-Packard Board of Directors in 2017 and has previously served on the board of directors for VF Corporation and the Economic Development Board of Singapore.
The 2018 NRF Foundation Gala raised $2.8 million to fund its work demonstrating retail as an industry of opportunity and providing resources to prepare people for retail jobs that lead to promising careers. On its fifth year, the 2019 Gala will be held at the Sheraton NY Times Square and will celebrate today’s leaders in retail and the impact of the NRF Foundation’s philanthropic work.
More information is available at www.nrf.com/gala.
Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ and Denizen® brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 2,900 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.’s reported fiscal 2017 net revenues were USD 4.9 billion.
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing USD 2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.