Q&A with Michelle Gass, Kohl’s CEO – Building on Our Momentum


Michelle Gass assumed the role of Kohl’s CEO in May 2018. As CEO, Michelle is responsible for Kohl’s long-term growth and profitability, along with the company’s strategic direction. We recently sat down with her to hear her vision for the future and building on Kohl’s momentum.   

1. What are your priorities as CEO?

I've been with Kohl's for five years and during that time I've had the great opportunity to work alongside Kevin and the leadership team as we architected our overarching strategic framework in the Greatness Agenda and our key priorities of driving traffic and operational excellence. I remain committed to this strategic framework and the key priorities. I'm stepping into this role at what I believe is an incredible time for the company - our strategies are gaining traction and we have momentum.  I look forward to working with the team as we continue to focus on delivering solid execution, innovating for the future, and continuing to enhance our culture of speed and agility in this dynamic retail environment. 

2. Kohl’s recently launched a new pilot loyalty program. What other initiatives are you prioritizing?

We’re going through a transformative time in retail, and I believe that Kohl’s is uniquely positioned to lead the charge. In the last five years, we’ve invested to remake Kohl’s for a new era and to ensure that we stay ahead among retailers. We will continue to invest in our deep pipeline of initiatives – our omnichannel and technology capabilities, the store experience and portfolio, our new loyalty program and personalization, our inventory management and localization, new brands and categories, our speed to market, and most importantly, our talent. And beyond this, there are many exciting initiatives that are incubating and being contemplated to keep our customers interested and engaged for years to come.

3. What leadership qualities do you hope to continue to foster at Kohl’s?

I am deeply committed to ensuring that we foster a culture that lifts our collective ability to thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s retail environment. We have been able to achieve great things at Kohl’s through our balance of innovation and execution, and the future will require more of this. I especially want to embrace our curiosity and our courage as a culture — two qualities that we will need in abundance in a world in which change is the norm.

4. Why will Kohl's win?

In retail, change is the norm. We are an agile organization that can adjust and evolve with changing expectations of our customer, because we always have and always will put our customers first. We have a clearly defined purpose — to inspire and empower families to lead fulfilled lives – which guides every decision we make. We've succeeded, and will continue to succeed, because we have a powerful balance of innovation and execution. Kohl’s is an incredibly well-managed company with a strong balance sheet, and we are able to make investments to position us for long-term success. It’s an exciting time for Kohl’s because we know when we put our minds to it, anything is possible.