Lululemon Names New CEO; Founder Chip Wilson Resigns As Chairman

Upscale yoga clothing maker Lululemon (Nasdaq:LULU) announced Wednesday that it will bring on a new CEO, just as the company founder and chairman of the Board of Directors is planning to exit.

Laurent Potdevin, 46, will become chief executive in January, succeeding Christine Day, who announced her intentions to leave in June. Potdevin, who currently serves as the president of the socially conscious shoe company TOMS, will also become a board member. According to a regulatory filing made public on Wednesday, the incoming chief will be paid a base salary of $900,000 as well as a $200,000 signing bonus and a $1.65 million retention bonus. Day's base salary had been set at $750,000.

In addition to swapping out its chief executive, the Vancouver-based company also announced that founder Chip Wilson is stepping down as chairman after raising ire with his comments about the body types of potential buyers of the retailer's yoga pants.

The backlash unfolded when Wilson appeared on Bloomberg TV and said that the reason some customers claimed their Lululemon pants were sheer is because "some women's bodies just don't actually work" for the clothing. Wilson also alluded to the fact that if women's thighs rub against each other, that kind of friction might affect the pants' durability. Consumers were outraged at the suggestion that patrons were responsible for Lululemon quality concerns. These concerns led the company to recall its black yoga pants after numerous complaints that they were see-through.

Wilson will officially leave the post in June of next year. He will retain his seat on the board while board member Michael Casey will become chairman upon his resignation.

For more see:
-This Reuters article
-This Bloomberg article
-This Wall Street Journal article

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