Casual wear company Levi Strauss & Co said COO John Anderson will become the company's next president and CEO when Phil Marineau retires at the end of financial 2006 (26 November).

Levi announced earlier this month that Marineau would leave and that Anderson, who has been with the company for 27 years, had been promoted to COO.

"John is an excellent choice to lead LS&CO to sustained, profitable growth," said Marineau of Anderson's appointment as CEO.

"John has consistently delivered exceptional results in various leadership roles worldwide and has a tremendous following in the company.  Based on his long and extensive service with LS&CO., John is keenly aware of what it will take to continue to build our brands and businesses globally." 
 
Anderson said: "I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to lead such a distinguished company.Phil and I will work very closely during the next several months to ensure a smooth transition and build on our business momentum. 

"I look forward to capitalizing on LS&CO's global market presence and optimising growth opportunities for the company and our shareholders."

Anderson has been leading the Asia Pacific Division since 1998 and the company's global supply chain organisation since March 2004.

The company also announced today that five members of its 14-member board of directors stepped down from the board on 13 July as part of a planned reduction in the size of the board.