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Keen CEO leaving to head Levi's brand

James Curleigh helped raise footwear company profile in Portland

Keen Chief Executive Officer James Curleigh is leaving the Portland footwear manufacturer to join Levi Strauss and Co. of San Francisco.

Curleigh will be president of the Levi's brand.

'I'm excited about the opportunity to build on the momentum of the Levi's brand and look forward to joining the talented team that brings these iconic products to life for generations of consumers,' Curleigh said.

Curleigh's personal style guided the local sportswear company and gave a face to the Keen brand. He opened a boot factory on Swan Island and promoted the use of environmentally sustainable production methods and materials for the company's products.

President Obama recognized Keen and Curleigh in March for creating local jobs. Curleigh also was acknowledged by President Bill Clinton for his 'recess revolution,' which promoted workplace satisfaction and well-being by giving workers 10-minute activity breaks during the day, in which they could jog, do yoga or engage in other physical activities.

Keen founder Rory Fuerst has taken over as chief executive officer and will lead the search for a Curleigh's replacement.

Prior to Keen, Curleigh was president and chief executive officer of Salomon Sports North America. He has also established and led TaylorMade Adidas golf's Europe division, as well as holding various leadership positions in the London offices of M and M Mars.