President of the Levi’s brand
Jennifer Sey was on track to become the first woman CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. As the President of the Levi’s brand, she was widely celebrated as a versatile and inspirational leader who had helped save the iconic brand from bankruptcy. Formerly a self-described “left of left of center” progressive, she was beloved as the embodiment of the company’s “profits through principles” ethos.
But everything changed when Sey publicly opposed the closure of San Francisco’s public schools at the height of the pandemic. In response to her ‘wrongthink,’ management gave her a choice: shut up or leave. She decided that defending at-risk children was more important than the job that she loved, and so she resigned. After more than two decades at the company, she gave up her professional future in order to retain her voice.