Levi’s and JCPenney Bolster Leadership Team, Tapping Kenny Mitchell as CMO and Katie Mullen as Chief Customer Officer

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
Kenny Levi's
Kenny Mitchell, SVP and CMO, Levi's

Levi Strauss & Co. and JCPenney are looking to bolster their executive leadership, naming a new SVP and CMO and a chief customer officer, respectively. 

At Levi’s, Kenny Mitchell is taking on the role of senior vice president and chief marketing officer, overseeing the company’s consumer marketing strategies and focusing on growing the brand’s market share. 

Mitchell, who has more than 20 years of brand-building and digital experience across global markets, will take on the role beginning June 5, reporting to Levi’s president, Michelle Gass. He is coming to Levi’s from Snap, the parent company of social media platform Snapchat, where he has been chief marketing officer since 2019, leading the company’s global community, advertising, and developer partner growth.

Previously, Mitchell worked with McDonald’s USA as its vice president of brand content and engagement, managing the company’s brand and consumer marketing strategy. He has also worked with PepsiCo’s Gatorade as head of consumer engagement. 

“I am thrilled to join a values-led company like LS&Co. and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside their enormously talented teams to help expand the reach and strength of the Levi’s brand,” Mitchell said, in a statement. “I have long admired the enduring global relevance of Levi’s as both a quintessential apparel brand and cultural icon. It is an honor to be part of shaping the future of the greatest story ever worn.”

According to Gass, Mitchell has been a widely recognized innovation leader and talent builder across the marketing space, “with an impressive track record of growing global brands and pioneering digital marketing strategies to accelerate value creation.” 

“It is especially fitting to have someone of his exceptional caliber join our Levi’s team in this milestone year, further positioning us for long-term growth and operational success as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 501 jean and the 170th year of the company’s founding,” Gass added. “With Kenny onboard, I have full confidence in our ability to continue earning our place at the center of culture and building our global community of Levi’s fans.” 

JCPenney Promotes Katie Mullen

Katie Mullen, previously chief digital officer, has been promoted to chief customer officer.
Katie Mullen, Chief Customer Officer, JCPenney

JCPenney’s Katie Mullen, previously chief digital officer, has been promoted to chief customer officer. While Mullen will continue to manage the company’s e-commerce strategy and omnichannel development, JCPenney said the new role will have an increased focus on customer marketing, engagement, analytics, and more.

Mullen will be putting special emphasis on delivering end-to-end integrated shopping experiences through innovation across digital, data, and analytics. To do this, the company expects to invest in physical and digital experiences that are powered by technology. 

Mullen has been with JCPenney throughout her career, supporting brand strategy with customer data analysis and digital enablement across the enterprise. She was previously chief digital officer with Neiman Marcus Group, where she managed the performance marketing team and oversaw product and category management, site merchandising, analytics, data science, promotions, and more. 

“I’m looking forward to continuing to improve how JCPenney reaches and serves America’s diverse working families,” said Mullen in a statement. “In our efforts to restore relevance with customers, we’ve sought to better meet their style, product, and shopping preferences while also making our stores more reflective of the communities around us. I’m excited to work alongside our JCPenney leadership team to continue engaging customers in ways that matter most to them.”

According to Marc Rosen, chief executive officer of JCPenney, a core part of JCPenney’s digital transformation strategy has been to focus on its customers’ needs. 

“There are encouraging signs that we’re on the right track. We’ve seen an uptick in customers returning to shop with us — an increase in customer frequency for the first time in five years — and they’re spending more,” added Rosen. “Creating space for Katie to link our digital technology, customer insights, and personalization capabilities — and to bring it to life through an integrated, end-to-end customer experience — is a natural evolution of her role and will help take us to the next level.”

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