Kohl's CEO Gass to leave for Levi Strauss

STORY: Shares of struggling department store chain Kohl's jumped on Tuesday after the retailer said its CEO Michelle Gass will step down next month.

Shortly after news of the exit, Levi Strauss announced that Gass would become its president in December and will take over as CEO within the next 18 months, succeeding long-time chief Chip Bergh.

The departure comes as activist investor groups push for management and board changes at Kohl's, after the company called off its sale to Vitamin Shoppe-owner Franchise Group in late June and decided to remain independent, leading to a plunge in its shares and disappointing investors who had pushed for a deal.

While Levi's does not face the same activist pressure as Kohl's, its earnings have also taken a hit this year and Gass will need to navigate the company out of an inflationary environment that has caused a slump in sales.