Curleigh leaving KEEN footwear for Levi's
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
James Curleigh, high-profile CEO of KEEN Inc., will leave his post.
KEEN Inc. announced Tuesday that CEO James Curleigh has left the footwear company and Levi Strauss & Co. announced Curleigh was appointed executive vice president and president of the Levi's brand effective July 5.
Employees were told Tuesday morning that Curleigh was no longer with the company effective Friday, May 25.
Rory Fuerst, a KEEN founder and owner of the company, will step in as CEO and has started the search for a new president.
"Rory has always been a pretty active owner," said Phyllis Grove, vice president of sales and marketing. "He's always been fairly hands-on with different parts of the company."
KEEN, which launched its business with its signature closed-toe sandal nine years ago, has made a name for itself as a sustainable producer of shoes, socks and bags. The company will turn 10 next year.
In February, Keen purchased the Pearl Building for about $10 million and is building it out as a new headquarters. Grove said the company is targeting a move-in date during the fourth quarter of this year. The building, at 513 N.W. 13th Ave., will house KEEN offices and its retail outlet, the KEEN Garage.
KEEN's decision to open a Portland manufacturing facility for certain of its shoe lines, landed Curleigh at the White House earlier this year during President Obama's speech about insourcing.
Curleigh joined KEEN as president and CEO in 2008. He held the same role at Salomon North America and previously led European operations for TaylorMade Adidas Golf.
"I don't take myself too seriously" Curleigh writes in his LinkedIn profile, "but I take my role as the CEO of KEEN very seriously!"
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.