UC Berkeley press release

NEWS RELEASE, 10/16/96

Levi Strauss President Tom Tusher To Receive Business Leadership Award from UC Berkeley's Haas school

by Ute Frey

Berkeley -- Thomas Tusher, president and chief operating officer of Levi Strauss & Co., is the recipient of the 1996 Business Leadership Award, given by the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

"Tom Tusher meets everyone's definition of a business leader," said William Hasler, dean of the Haas School, in announcing the award. "He has a deep and wise instinct for the key strategic issues, never loses sight of the larger environment in which a socially responsible organization must operate, and he knows how to make things happen."

"All of us at Levi Strauss & Co. have relied on Tom's leadership for the last 12 years," said Robert D. Haas, Levi Strauss & Co. chairman and chief executive officer. "His deep understanding of our global markets and operations, his role in refocusing the company on its core products, and his ability to manage change have made him an invaluable partner in the transformation and growth of the company."

A major force behind the development of the Dockers brand and a key advocate in the transformation of Levi's products' global brand image, Tusher helped move Levi Strauss & Co. from being a manufacturing-based company to one more intensely focused on marketing strategy.

"Levi Strauss & Co. is justly renowned as a firm that cares deeply about corporate social responsibility," said Hasler. "Tom Tusher has been at the forefront in guarding and extending that commitment. The company now has more than 700 people around the globe whose full-time job is to ensure that it uses the best contractors and that they follow the firm's 'Business Partner Terms of Engagement,' which cover health and safety conditions, employment practices, and environmental, ethical, and legal requirements."

Tusher joined Levi Strauss & Co. in 1969, served as president of Levi Strauss International from 1980 to 1984, and was elected COO in 1984 and president and a director in March 1989. He will retire as president and COO on Dec. 1, but will continue as a consultant and senior adviser to Robert D. Haas.

Tusher's ties to the business school at UC Berkeley are long and enduring. A member of the school's advisory board since 1983, he was the first commencement speaker for the newly renamed Haas School of Business in 1989 and the keynote speaker at the faculty-alumni colloquium in 1990. Tusher has also been a regular guest lecturer for Haas executive programs and MBA and undergraduate classes.

"Students find him personable, unassuming, and approachable," one Haas professor said. "He always takes the time to be well-prepared, and he always sends in advance a complete package of his class materials in a Levi's denim folder for each student. And then his presentations knock their socks off."

Tusher's support of the school also has extended to a series of unique Haas MBA-student projects. Since 1994, Levi Strauss & Co. has sponsored three teams of MBA students doing research on its strategic international operations in Russia, Indonesia and India as part of the Haas School's international business development course.

A generous donor to the business school over the years, Tusher and his wife, Pauline, were major contributors to the campaign for the new Haas School building. Tusher Theater, a unique octagonal seminar room in Cheit Hall, the classroom wing, is named in their honor.

Tusher received his BA in political science from UC Berkeley in 1963 and his MBA from Stanford University two years later. The Haas School's Business Leadership Award, previously known as the Alumnus-of-the-Year Award, will be presented at the annual alumni celebration dinner on Friday, Oct. 25, at the school.

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