Keen searches for new CEO after Curleigh takes job at Levi Strauss

Keen is searching for a new CEO and president after James Curleigh, who held the position for the past four years, suddenly announced his departure from the Portland, Ore.-based footwear company to take the executive vice president role at Levi Strauss.
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Keen is searching for a new CEO and president after James Curleigh, who held the positions for the past four years, suddenly announced his departure from the Portland, Ore.-based footwear company to take the executive vice president role at Levi Strauss.

Keen co-founder Rory Fuerst began serving as the company’s interim CEO following Curleigh’s decision to leave May 25, officials said.

Jeanswear giant Levi Strauss made the news public Tuesday, introducing Curleigh as its new executive vice president and president of the Levi's brand, effective July 5. Curleigh will move his family from Portland to San Francisco.

“In his new role, Curleigh will be responsible for managing the strategic direction and execution of the Levi's brand,” officials said. “He will continue to build on the brand's strong heritage by identifying innovative ways to connect with consumers around the world.” The company reported $4.8 billion in net revenue in 2011.

Before joining Keen in March 2008, Curleigh served as president and CEO of Salomon Sports North America. He also held previous roles with TalyorMade and M&M Mars in Europe.

Curleigh helped grow Keen beyond the company’s classic Newport hybrid sandal into an expanded line of outdoor and casual footwear and even socks. He recently placed emphasis creating American jobs and led the company to invest in its Portland future with the purchase of a new headquarters building there.

--David Clucas

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