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Former CEO of Athleta to lead Levi’s Beyond Yoga as co-founder exits

Beyond Yoga Chicago
Beyond Yoga operates six stores, with its newest (above) in Chicago.

A Gap Inc. veteran has been tapped to lead a growing athletic and lifesyle apparel brand.

Beyond Yoga has named Nancy Green, former president and chief executive of Athleta, as CEO effective Feb. 1. She will succeed co-founder Michelle Wahler, who is stepping down from the role. 

Beyond Yoga said that Green will lead the company as it looks to scale “its continued growth and expansion” within the Levi Strauss & Co. brand portfolio.  The denim giant acquired Beyond Yoga in 2021 as part of its strategy to tap into the lucrative activewear market and diversify its portfolio. The brand contributed nearly $100 million to Levi’s net fiscal year 2022 revenue.

In addition to Wahler, COO and CFO Jesse Adams, who has been with the company for more than a decade and was instrumental in its success, also will be stepping down, the company said.

Established in 2005 as a premium, wholesale-focused brand promoting body positivity, Beyond Yoga is female-founded, female-run and nearly 90% female-led. The brand opened its first physical store in 2022, in Santa Monica, Calif., and has since expanded to five other locations, with its newest in the Fulton Market district of Chicago.  

"We set out to develop a brand that honors real women’s bodies, and I am incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished with Beyond Yoga,” said Wahler. “I always believed that Beyond Yoga could be a $1 billion brand, and with Nancy’s experience, I look forward to seeing how she takes our vision into the future.”

In a statement, Levi’s president and CEO Chip Bergh said that, under Wahler’s leadership, Beyond Yoga has grown from an idea to a nearly $100 million omnichannel retailer.

“I want to thank Michelle for her leadership and for integrating Beyond Yoga into the LS&Co. portfolio,” he added. 

Incoming Beyond Yoga CEO Green served as president and CEO of Athleta from 2013 to 2019. During her tenure, the company’s revenues grew from $250 million to nearly $1 billion, with operating margin significantly growing and its store network expanding from 39 to 175 stores.

From 2019 to 2022, Green was president and CEO of Old Navy, where she oversaw the brand’s growth from $8 to $9 billion, with significant growth in activewear. She also held several other executive positions within Gap over the course of her career, along with a four-year stint at Pottery Barn.

Green has served on boards that include Marine Layer, Allbirds and the National Retail Federation, and is on the advisory board of Lily AI. She is a senior advisor at the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

“We have arrived at a natural inflection point for this incredible brand, and as we pursue the next stage of growth, we believe Nancy has the experience to fully unlock the potential of Beyond Yoga by leveraging her impressive retail expertise and LS&Co.'s extensive global resources and capabilities,” said Michelle Gass, Levi’s president and incoming CEO. 

Beyond Yoga is poised for further expansion through increased direct-to-consumer channels, including brick-and-mortar, category growth and an enhanced wholesale footprint. The brand will continue to operate as a standalone division within Levi, maintaining its core ethos while leveraging the company’s resources to expand its reach and impact.

“As a purpose-driven leader, I’m inspired by the fact that Beyond Yoga stands for more than just comfort and performance; the brand has created an inclusive, body-positive community that celebrates diversity and giving back,” said Green. I’m committed to staying true to these values as we continue to build this community and scale this brand for its next chapter of growth.”

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