Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney is leaving her company just days after the board asked her to step down as CEO. The 31-year-old was widely considered to be the public face of the athleisure brand, which she launched in 2013. Haney combined entrepreneurial hustle with social media prowess to build Outdoor Voices into a major player in the direct-to-consumer space, becoming an Instagram influencer in her own right. Behind the scenes, however, reports indicated the startup was burning through cash at an astonishing rate—and struggling to raise more.
Haney submitted her resignation Tuesday morning on Slack, BuzzFeed News reports. “You all know how much I value and I am incredibly proud of the brand community and team we have built together to get the world moving over the last six years,” she wrote. “This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I am so grateful to each and every one of you. THANK YOU. Sending all of my love. The future is bright and it’s yours for the taking.”
Outdoor Voices gave Haney an equally sunny send-off. “Tyler has made a personal decision to resign from Outdoor Voices. We respect her choice and wish her the best,” the company said in a statement. “As the founder of our company and a creative visionary, she brought Outdoor Voices to an important stage in our evolution. Our focus remains on the future of Outdoor Voices and doing what’s best for our company and our team.”
But everything may not be as bright as Haney claims. According to a BuzzFeed source, the startup has been “hemorrhaging” money, forcing the board to take drastic measures. In 2018, Outdoor Voices lost $21 million when it was budgeted to lose $12 million, the source told BuzzFeed. The news site Business of Fashion reported that in 2019, Outdoor Voices lost about $2 million per month despite annual sales of about $40 million.
Some downsizing may be in order. A spokesperson for Outdoor Voices told Fast Company in a statement that a “small number of positions” had been eliminated following Haney’s resignation. “Our mission isn’t changing, but we believe that operating more dynamically in an evolving retail environment will position Outdoor Voices for long-term growth and success as we continue to build an incredible, positive community that is redefining how people think about recreation.”
Cliff Moskowitz, the president of the private equity firm InterLux, which focuses on fashion brands, will serve as interim CEO. Outdoor Voices also announced that it has raised more funding from its current investors “to support our growth and expansion moving forward.”According to Business of Fashion, the company had trouble raising additional funding, and this round was at a lower valuation than previous rounds.