Yoga wars heat up as Levi's Beyond Yoga taps former Athleta CEO, Gap veteran as next chief executive
Yoga wars heat up as Levi's Beyond Yoga taps former Athleta CEO, Gap veteran as next chief executive

Beyond Yoga

Courtesy: Beyond Yoga

Levi Strauss’ Beyond Yoga has tapped former Athleta CEO and longtime Gap veteran Nancy Green to be its next chief executive, as the corporate appears to scale past its modest roots and compete with business leaders such as Lululemon and upstarts such as Alo Yoga and Vuori.  

Beyond Yoga’s founder Michelle Wahler, together with its Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Jesse Adams, will each be stepping down. Green is slated to take the reins on Feb. 1, the corporate stated in a information launch. 

Wahler and Adams will keep on as advisors to make sure a clean transition, the corporate stated.

“We have arrived at a pure inflection level for this unimaginable model,” Levi’s incoming CEO Michelle Gass stated in a press release. “As we pursue the next stage of development, we consider Nancy has the expertise to totally unlock the potential of Beyond Yoga by leveraging her spectacular retail experience and [Levi Strauss’] intensive international sources and capabilities.” 

The management shift comes as Beyond Yoga appears to scale and set itself aside in an more and more crowded athletic attire house. Retailers such as Lululemon and Nike have lengthy dominated the category, with Beyond Yoga and Gap-owned Athleta following shut behind. But upstarts such as Alo Yoga and Vuori have been nipping at their heels and taking market share. 

Lululemon clients spent 7.1% and three% of their energetic and athleisure {dollars} at Vuori and Alo Yoga, respectively, through the vacation buying season in December, BTIG’s Janine Stichter wrote in a analysis observe, which cited a pockets analyst from Earnest.

Meanwhile, throughout Levi’s most recent quarter ending Aug. 27, gross sales at Beyond Yoga elevated 25%. In Gap’s quarter ending Oct. 28, gross sales at Athleta fell 18%.

As these firms compete, they’ve additionally poached each other’s prime expertise. In August, Athleta named former Alo Yoga President Chris Blakeslee its next CEO.

Now, Athleta’s former CEO is becoming a member of Beyond Yoga. 

Nancy Green

Courtesy: Beyond Yoga

Green began her profession as a New York stylist and went on to spend about 25 years with Gap. She labored her manner up from a merchandiser to president and CEO of Athleta, a place she held for six years, in keeping with her LinkedIn profile. 

During her time with Athleta, she launched the model’s “Power of She” platform, reshaped and innovated its product line and grew gross sales from $250 million to just about $1 billion. She additionally expanded Athleta’s retailer footprint from 39 to 175. Green developed a set of abilities that can be essential at Beyond Yoga, which is embarking on an identical development plan. 

Founded in 2005 in Los Angeles, Beyond Yoga began out promoting its leggings and tops in yoga studios and gymnasiums. After garnering a cult-like following, it expanded its wholesale partnerships to a slew of shops, together with Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Revolve. 

Levi acquired Beyond Yoga in 2021 for $400 million. In fiscal 2022, it introduced in almost $100 million in income for the attire retailer. 

Levi has targeted on wholesale partnerships because it was based in 1853, however underneath outgoing CEO Chip Bergh’s management, it has labored to construct out its direct-to-consumer channel — a technique that extends to Beyond Yoga. The model opened its first retailer in 2022, and has now expanded to 6 places, with direct-to-consumer gross sales constantly rising double digits 12 months over 12 months. 

The firm is about to report earnings next week.

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