Kara Swisher

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Yahoo's Nash Goes Back to Retail as Top Levi Strauss Flack

It looks like two years of relentless controversy and company upheaval have sent Yahoo’s former PR person back into the arms of a retail outfit.

Jill Nash, who said she was leaving Yahoo (YHOO) in early February, will be taking the top PR job at San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. She will be Levi’s chief communications officer and VP of corporate affairs.

Previous to Yahoo, Nash (pictured here) had been a top flack at the Gap, also based in San Francisco.

As BoomTown previously reported, Nash left Yahoo after becoming weary of the constant tumult, which began almost as soon as she was hired by then-CEO Terry Semel.

Let’s just say, the situation at Yahoo went downward from there, until what appears to be a possibility of revival after the recent appointment of new CEO Carol Bartz, which Nash did not wait around to see for herself.

Levi is also not a walk in the park, though. In its most recent quarter, the jeans manufacturer saw tougher results, and its CEO, John Anderson, warned that 2009 would be a rough year for Levi and the entire retail market.

Here’s the full PR release from Levi about the new PR head:

Levi Strauss & Co. Names Jill Nash as Chief Communications Officer and Vice President of Corporate Affairs

SAN FRANCISCO (March 3, 2009)–Levi Strauss & Co. announced today that Jill Nash has joined the company as chief communications officer and vice president of Corporate Affairs. Most recently, Nash served as chief communications officer at Yahoo!, where she led the company’s worldwide communications efforts.

“Jill is a dynamic leader with wide-ranging expertise in areas that are vital to the success of Levi Strauss & Co.,” said John Anderson, president and chief executive officer, Levi Strauss & Co. “We are pleased to have Jill at the helm of our corporate affairs efforts during these dynamic and challenging times. Her experience and knowledge will be great assets in guiding our media and government relations, employee communications and citizenship efforts as we continue to pursue new growth opportunities around the world.”

In her most recent position with Yahoo!, Nash led the company’s global communication efforts including media relations, consumer media, public affairs and internal communications. Prior to this, she was the vice president of global communications for Gap Inc., where she focused on reputation management, cultural transformation and strategic change at both the corporate and brand levels.

“I am excited to work for an industry leader, with global operations and world-renowned brands,” Nash said. “I look forward to being part of the team that helps this great apparel leader further strengthen its position in the marketplace.”

Previous to her tenure with Yahoo! and Gap, Nash was vice president of corporate communications at the Charles Schwab Corporation and helped position the company as a leader in technology and online brokerage.

Nash holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego University. She has received numerous industry honors including multiple Gold Quill awards. Nash is active in a variety of community organizations.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s leading branded apparel companies, marketing its products in more than 100 countries worldwide. The company designs and markets jeans and jeans-related pants, casual and dress pants, shirts, jackets and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s® and Dockers® brands.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald