Get to know our new leaders at Levi Strauss & Co. through these Quick Qs. Meet Jeff Hogue, who recently moved into a new role as the new Chief Sustainability Officer.?
1. What did you do before joining Levi Strauss & Co.?
For the last six years I have led the sustainability team for C&A, an international fashion retailer with 179 years of history. Based in Brussels, Belgium, I have had the pleasure to lead an outstanding team of 135 sustainability professionals across the globe — supporting our 2,000 retail locations and 50,000 colleagues. In this role, I was tasked with creating the brand’s first sustainability strategy, building a high-performance team and putting our customers first by innovating sustainable products and approaches that resonate with them.
Prior to C&A I had similar roles in several other large public and privately-owned companies, including McDonald’s Corporation, where I led the development of their first global sustainability framework and strategy.
2. What attracted you to LS&Co.?
Above all, Levi’s? is an amazing brand on a multitude of dimensions. First, it is a strong and resilient brand that is admired for strong leadership, deeply engrained values and robust sustainability commitments. Our company’s focus on profits through principles has been something that I have followed throughout my years in the fashion industry, where I believe that it clearly has positioned LS&Co. as a thought leader among others.
Second, we have a very enduring heritage where innovation has been at the core of what we do since 1873. LS&Co.’s culture of innovation is something that is inextricably linked with sustainability when it comes to delivering products and approaches that evolve with consumer needs and trends, which ultimately creates increased brand loyalty and shareholder value.
Lastly, in discussions with our leadership, there is a strong desire to create a step change to further strengthen our sustainability position going forward. In spite of the global challenges that the industry has faced over the past several months, there is commitment to accelerate our sustainability journey — which is highly motivating to me.
3. What does success look like in your job?
First, it is very important that we not only implement robust and credible sustainability actions and impact reductions, but also connect with our employees and consumers through our work. It is clear that sustainability is increasingly important to our consumers and category buyers of apparel, yet sometimes it can be complex and difficult to articulate the benefits that sustainable approaches bring in a way that resonates with them. Supporting our business teams to deliver more sustainable products — while helping them to focus on key drivers of sustainable purchasing behaviors and brand reputation — can provide the foundations for increasing consumer understanding and connection.
Second, we have the potential to create thousands of sustainability ambassadors at LS&Co. — supporting our commitment to putting our people first by engaging them with our sustainability work has been very powerful in my previous roles.
Lastly, creating approaches that are pragmatic, efficient and with clear ownership are key to increasing performance over time. Through previous experience, the best sustainability approaches are both backed by visible leadership commitment and are embedded into the organization — both in terms of aligning with business priorities and by creating ownership within every function.
4. What is your secret dream career?
I have it!
5. What’s one thing that no one would guess about you?
I survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
6. List five things that make you happy.
Family, kindness, results, running, nature.