28 minutes | Apr 5, 2022

From Journalism to Jeans: Levi Strauss & Co.’s Katia Walsh

Katia Walsh began her career as a journalist in her native Bulgaria and is now the global chief strategy and AI officer at retailer Levi Strauss & Co. Over the course of her career, she has developed a passion for three things: the power of information, the power of technology, and the power of machine learning. Her enthusiasm for these subjects is evident as she describes how she is ensuring that a well-known legacy clothing brand remains relevant through technological transformation.

In this episode, Katia explains how she has organized digital transformation and employee engagement at Levi Strauss around five C’s: connections with consumers, commerce, creation, careers, and culture. She also describes the machine learning boot camps the retailer has offered to nontech employees to boost innovation and outlines how the company thinks about responsible AI practices. Read the episode transcript here.

Me, Myself, and AI is a collaborative podcast from MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group and is hosted by Sam Ransbotham and Shervin Khodabandeh. Our engineer is David Lishansky, and the coordinating producers are Allison Ryder and Sophie Rüdinger.

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Guest Bio:

Katia Walsh is senior vice president and chief global strategy and AI officer at Levi Strauss & Co., where she focuses on setting the clothing company’s holistic digital and corporate strategy. Previously, she was the first chief global data and analytics officer of Vodafone Group and held strategic data analytics leadership positions at Prudential Financial, Fidelity Investments, and Forrester Research. Walsh was named the U.K.’s Data Leader of the Year for three consecutive years by the Women in IT Awards series. She holds a doctoral degree in strategic communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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