Jason Gowans has joined Levi Strauss & Co. as the company’s first chief digital officer, marking the next move in the company’s bid to elevate its digital commerce strategy.
Gowans, who will also serve as senior VP and be part of the executive leadership team, is tasked with unifying the apparel manufacturer and retailer’s engineering, data, artificial intelligence, and digital product management on behalf of all e-commerce and digital go-to-market efforts.
Most recently senior VP of digital commerce at Nordstrom, he’s also held roles at several IT services and solution provider companies. His 10-year tenure at Nordstrom includes serving as senior VP of data science and analytics, where he led data science and analytics for the company across functions, including marketing, digital, supply chain, and merchandising.
In a statement announcing his appointment, the company said the new role is key to managing its primary growth drivers — including direct-to-consumer revenue increases stemming from productivity, service, loyalty, and e-commerce acceleration. Chip Bergh, president and CEO of Levi’s, in turn pointed to Gowans’ background in developing consumer-focused digital experiences, noting that he’ll help the company advance its DTC strategy.
“Jason’s deep knowledge of data science, combined with his strong digital expertise, will help us digitally transform all parts of our business — from supply chain to marketing to e-commerce — and accelerate our growth,” said Bergh.
Indeed, the company has been investing in the digital capabilities with the most potential to impact its e-commerce operations. This includes recently developing its own AI- and machine learning-powered inventory optimization solution, known as BOOST (Business Optimization of Shipping and Transport), in partnership with its DTC teams.
Using this technology, consumers can more easily locate out-of-stock items at their local stores, which in turn is expected to improve operational efficiency across the company.
Gowans will report to Michelle Gass, president of Levi’s Strauss & Co., which is the No. 93 publicly owned consumer goods company.