UC Berkeley press release


Levi Strauss & Co. to endow chair at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business for retired president Tom Tusher

by David Irons

Berkeley -- The Levi Strauss Foundation will endow a chair in international business at the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business in honor of Thomas Tusher, recently retired president and chief operating officer of Levi Strauss & Co.

The total amount of the corporate foundation gift is $500,000.

"As architect of many of our company's growth strategies, Tom Tusher played a key role in our tremendous financial performance and development of our international businesses," said Levi Strauss & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Haas. "Beyond honoring Tom for his 27 years of remarkable contributions, the company hopes the newly endowed chair will inspire future generations of students to follow Tom's example and pursue a career in international business."

"Tom Tusher is a rare business leader," said Haas School Dean William Hasler. "He has a deep and wise instinct for key strategic issues and he never loses sight of the larger environment in which a socially responsible organization must operate. We are deeply honored by this gift from the firm

he led."

Tusher received his undergraduate degree in 1963 and is an avid supporter of the campus. A member of the Haas School 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. In October 1996, he received the Haas School's Business Leadership Award.

Tusher has also been a regular guest lecturer for Haas executive programs and in MBA and undergraduate classes.

"Students find him personable, unassuming, and approachable," said John Myers, a UC Berkeley professor of marketing. "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 has also 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 international operations in Russia, Indonesia, and India as part of the Haas School's international business development course.

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

Tusher joined Levi Strauss & Co. in 1969, served as president of Levi Strauss International from 1980 to 1984 and was elected chief operating officer in 1984 and president and a director in March 1989. He retired as president & COO on December 1, 1996, but continues as a consultant and senior advisor to Chairman & CEO Robert D. Haas.

Levi Strauss & Co. is the world's largest brand-name apparel manufacturer. The company designs, manufactures and markets apparel for men, women and children, including jeans, pants, shirts, jackets and skirts. It had 1995 sales of $6.7 billion, and employs more than 37,500 people worldwide.

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