Levi Strauss & Co (LS&Co), one of the world’s largest apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear, has appointed Katia Walsh as senior vice president and chief strategy and artificial intelligence officer effective April 29, 2019. Walsh will report to Chip Bergh, president and CEO at LS&Co, and will be a member of LS&Co’s global leadership team.
In her new role, Walsh will be responsible for building data, analytics and artificial intelligence enablers to support LS&Co’s global business across innovation incubation, new business models and strategic growth initiatives, said a media statement by the company.
Walsh holds a Ph.D from the University of Missouri-Columbia in strategic communication with a specialisation in quantitative methodology. She is a member of Unicredit’s Transformation and Innovation Advisory Board and River Island’s Digital Advisory Board, as well as Strategy Advisor to Fellowship.ai, a free data science training program. She was named the UK’s Data Leader of the Year for the past two years by the Women in IT Awards series.
Walsh joins LS&Co from Vodafone, where she was the company’s first chief data and analytics officer, responsible for the company’s success in providing a predictive, proactive, and personalised experience as part of its digital transformation. At Vodafone, Walsh also contributed to the use of data and artificial intelligence for social good. Walsh has also held strategic data analytics leadership positions at Prudential Financial and Fidelity Investments, where she drove customer-centric innovations.
“Katia’s expertise in data and analytics, including big data platforms, analytics services, machine learning products, and digital solutions will be essential to setting LS&Co on a course of continued industry leadership,” said Bergh. “She is a talented team builder and positive change agent, capable of translating data products into successful commercial initiatives and consumer experiences. I am confident that she will make a big impact at LS&Co.”
“LS&Co is more than an iconic company; it’s also an innovation leader across industries,” said Walsh. “Strategic harnessing of data and machine learning will help position it for its next 165 years, and I look forward to contributing to its continued growth.”