Levi Strauss & Co.’s former brand president, Jennifer Sey, has said she was “pushed out” of her job after she spoke up about her beliefs against California’s pandemic school closures.
Detailing the events in a guest post for Bari Weiss’ Common Sense newsletter, the longtime Levi’s employee, who had been with the company since 1999, stated it had stopped supporting her when she began publicly questioning whether schools had to be shut down towards the start of the pandemic.
Sey, who voiced her beliefs on local news shows, in meetings with the mayor’s office, at rallies and on social media, said she was “condemned for speaking out”, and faced a cohort of criticism from her colleagues.
Sey also mentioned that Levi’s CEO, Charles Bergh, had said last year that she was “on track to become the next CEO”, following the doubling of stock prices under her leadership, but was told to “stop talking about the school thing”.
She added that she additionally turned down a one million dollar severance package from Levi’s because she didn’t want to sign a nondisclosure agreement regarding the matter.
While Levi’s has not yet directly addressed the claims made by Sey, the company did state her role will be taken over by Seth Ellison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, on an interim basis.
In a statement to Yahoo Finance, it added: “Levi Strauss & Co. has initiated a search for a new Levi’s brand president, an opportunity to lead one of the world’s best known and most respected consumer brands.”