Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass is leaving the company and will join Levi Strauss & Co. in early January as president and step into the role of CEO within the next 18 months, both companies announced in separate releases.
Gass will be replacing Levi Strauss & Co CEO Chip Bergh.
Tom Kingsbury, the former head of Burlington Stores, who joined the board last year, will serve as Kohl’s interim CEO while a formal search is put in place.
“The Board is grateful for Michelle’s many contributions since she joined the Company in 2013. Under her leadership, the company has driven a strategic transformation, expanded its partnerships and brand portfolio, and supported an inclusive and collaborative culture,” said Kohl’s chairman Chair Peter Boneparth.
The move comes as Kohl’s announced preliminary third quarter results and said it anticipates comparable sales to be down 6.9% in the three-month period ended Oct. 29, with net sales down 7.2%, from a year ago. The company plans to release its full quarterly results on Nov. 17.
Shares of Kohl’s were up about 9% in premarket trading. Shares of Levi’s were down about 1%.
Kohl’s have been under pressure after hedge funds Ancora Holdings and Macellum Advisors urged a change in company’s leadership.
Kohl’s said the leadership change will take effect on Dec. 2.