Lululemon said today that Laurent Potdevin has resigned as CEO and stepped down from company’s board, effective immediately. In cryptic language, the company’s statement said that Potdevin had failed to abide by the company’s “standards of conduct” that involves having the “highest levels of integrity and respect for one another.” Lululemon is now searching for a new CEO.
Glenn Murphy, chairman of the board, said in the statement that Potdevin failed to promote the right culture and did not set the right tone for the organization. Murphy’s role has now been expanded and senior leaders at the company will take on new responsibilities until a new CEO is brought on. The press release asserted that the company is still on track to hit $4 billion in revenue in 2020.
Lululemon has struggled with leaders who don’t set the right tone. Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon and the company’s CEO for many years, was known for speaking his mind. At one point, when the company received negative feedback because some leggings thinned out around the thigh area, Wilson went on the record saying that “some women’s bodies don’t actually work” for Lululemon clothing, suggesting that women’s large thighs were the problem. In a New York Times profile, Wilson also made insensitive comments including referring to chronic lateness as “Jewish standard time” and referring to one of his employees as “the beautiful girl I get to sit beside.”ES