Levi's boosts tech with head of strategy, AI appointment

Levi Strauss & Co. is boosting its data and analytics sector with the appointment of Katia Walsh to the role of senior vice president and chief strategy and artificial intelligence officer.


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Walsh will begin on April 29, 2019, and will report to Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer, in addition to becoming a member of the company's global leadership team. 

According to the company, the new role is "designed to help the company translate data analytics into meaningful decisions that drive business value and competitive advantage." Walsh will be responsible for building data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) enablers for Levi's.

Given her experience, Walsh is set to tackle these duties with competence. Prior to joining Levi's, the executive served as Vodafone's first chief data and analytics officer, where she led the company's digital transformation and contributed to the use of data and AI for social good. Additionally, she was named the UK’s Data Leader of the Year for the past two years by the Women in IT Awards series. 

“Katia’s expertise in data and analytics, including big data platforms, analytics services, machine learning products, and digital solutions will be essential to setting Levi's on a course of continued industry leadership,” said Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer at Levi Strauss & Co.

“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 Levi's.”

While Walsh will provide a boost to the company's tech initiatives, this isn't the first time the denim brand has marked itself as an innovator. Earlier this year, Levi's partnered with Harvard University’s public health graduate school and U.S. think-tank New America to develop a blockchain-based system designed to augment outside auditors of factory health and safety with self-reporting by workers.

Walsh currently serves 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.

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