Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass resigns and joins Levi Strauss as CEO pending

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Kohl’s Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass

Source: Kohl’s

Kohls said Tuesday that CEO Michelle Gass is leaving the company for another opportunity as sales continue to decline.

In a separate issue, Levi Strauss & Co. said Gass will join the company in early January as president and step into the role of CEO within the next 18 months. She succeeds the CEO of the company, Chip Bergh.

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Kohl’s also released preliminary third-quarter results. It said it expected comparable store sales to fall 6.9% in the three-month period ending Oct. 29, with net sales down 7.2% from a year ago. The company plans to release its full quarterly results on November 17.

Kohl’s shares rose about 7% in premarket trading. Shares of Levi’s fell about 2% in pre-market trading.

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Kohl’s – and Gass – are under pressure from investors. Activist investor Ancora Holdings has pushed the company to remove Gass from the position. The push for new leadership increased after Kohl ended talks this summer to sell to Franchise Group, owner of The Vitamin Shoppe.

Kohl’s said the leadership change will take effect Dec. 2. The board of directors appointed Tom Kingsbury, a Kohl’s director since last year, as interim CEO.

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