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Was it the unfortunate comments about women’s thighs? The pounding in the media? The growing calls to boycott a yogawear company that, suddenly, everyone loves to hate?
Lululemon isn’t saying, but Monday’s annoucement that founder Chip Wilson is stepping down from his post as chairman of the board makes it clear: Lulu doesn’t want any more bad press.
Wilson will vacate the position in the next six months. He will, however, remain a board member and still holds 8.84 percent of the company, according to a Financial Post article, which noted that the yoga retailer “closes a chapter on its toughest year to date.”
Meanwhile former TOMS Shoes president Laurent Potdevin has been hired as Lululemon’s new CEO in January, according to a press release.
Potdevin will replace current CEO Christine Day, who announced her resignation in June. In addition to Potdevin’s experience with TOMS, which donates a pair of shoes to children in developing countries for each pair bought in the US, he was CEO of Burton Snowboards and European fashion brand LVMH.
“Lululemon’s success has always been and will continue to be my highest priority. I am delighted that Laurent will be joining Lululemon and believe his talents and experience ideally complement our existing management team,” Wilson was quoted in the release. “As Laurent joins as CEO, I believe that now is the right time for me to begin to transition out of my role as Chairman of the Board.”
Michael Casey, lead director of the Lululemon board of directors and member of CEO search committee, will take Wilson’s place.