Editor’s Note: The following was originally published on LinkedIn by Chip Bergh, president and CEO at Levi Strauss & Co.
Last Thursday was a proud day for Levi Strauss & Co. After more than 30 years as a private company, we started trading on the New York Stock Exchange again, and not only did the NYSE let denim reign on the floor, but we also got a great response from the market.
There’s a long road ahead, of course, but this felt like an affirmation of what Harmit Singh, our CFO, and I saw during our investor roadshow – that there is a hearty investor appetite to support companies with strong brands, proven management, demonstrated business results and a solid moral compass.
Our business is stronger than it’s been in decades due to our execution, our people, our brands, and our values. That is what has driven – and will continue to drive – everything we are doing in our bid to be not just the world’s best apparel company, but one of the best performing and most sustainable companies in any industry.
As we transitioned to public ownership, I was often asked if we’d be moving away from our Profits through Principles approach and shying away from industry-leading sustainability commitments or our advocacy on pressing social issues. The answer is, unequivocally, no. Absolutely not. We will stay true to our values. We will continue to choose the harder right over the easier wrong. We will manage our business not for the next quarter, but for the long term.
This is because there is no question in my mind that our value and our values are inextricably linked, and I believe it is false to say we or any company must choose between business performance or responsible social conduct. The most successful companies do both. That’s how they drive growth, strengthen their brand, and keep their people inspired and engaged.
Read Chip’s full post on LinkedIn.