Kohl's CEO stepping down

Now, she'll become CEO at Levi Strauss

Kohl's CEO stepping down

There’s going to be a change at the top of the ladder at department store retail chain Kohl’s come December, the company has announced.

The employer said that current CEO Michelle Gass plans to step down as CEO and member of Kohl’s board of directors, effective Dec. 2, 2022, to accept another opportunity.

That opportunity is the CEO spot at jeans makers Levi Strauss, according to reports.

“I am incredibly proud of what the team at Kohl’s has accomplished and I’m very confident in their ability to drive continued innovation, growth and value for customers,” said Gass. “Kohl’s associates and brand partners are an inspiration to me, and I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with this great team and company.”

Gass first joined Kohl’s in January 2013 as the company’s chief merchandising and customer officer. She became CEO in May 2018. 

“The board is grateful for Michelle’s many contributions since she joined the Company in 2013,” said Peter Boneparth, chair of the board. “Under her leadership, the company has driven a strategic transformation, expanded its partnerships and brand portfolio, and supported an inclusive and collaborative culture. On behalf of all Kohl’s associates, we wish her well in her next endeavor.”

Gass is also currently part of the board of directors at PepsiCo (since March 2019) and was part of the board at Cigna from July 2014 to February 2017.

Prior to his stint at Kohl’s, Gass spent nearly 17 years holding different leadership positions at Starbucks.

Interim CEO

Replacing Gass on an interim basis will be Tom Kingsbury, as appointed by the board. 

A director at Kohl’s since 2021, Kingsbury was previously president and CEO at Burlington Stores, Inc. from 2008 to February 2020. He also served as senior executive vice president – information services, e-commerce, marketing and business development – with Kohl’s, Inc. from 2006 to 2008.

“I’m proud and humbled to take the Interim CEO role during such an important time for the company,” said Kingsbury. “Despite a challenging economic environment, Kohl’s is well positioned for long-term success with its unique off-mall store footprint, omnichannel presence, and loyal customer base. The board and I are committed to the continued refresh and innovation strategy Kohl’s has begun, the cornerstone of which is the terrific partnership we have with Sephora. I firmly believe in the long-term potential of this Company, our associates and our ability to deliver value for shareholders.”

Earlier, Chobani announced that Shari Eaton has been named chief people officer. In mid-October, Peloton’s chief people officer Shari Eaton announced she’s leaving the company. Hormel Foods also announced that Katie Larson has been named the food giant’s new senior vice president of human resources.

Recent articles & video

Pay transparency laws ‘make compliance a nightmare’ in remote world

What makes a good mentor?

Qualtrics chief people officer: top 3 HR predictions for 2023

Employers still struggling to fill roles despite recession fears

Most Read Articles

California's fast-food worker law suspended until general election

How to draw the line between performance management and productivity paranoia

Employment-based visa fee raises will hurt startups, schools, small businesses