VANCOUVER, Canada — Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin has resigned as CEO and member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately, amid concerns over his conduct.
Details of his actions have not been disclosed, however, a statement by the athletic apparel company cited his inability to meet the high standards of conduct expected of all members of staff as the catalyst for his departure.
“While this was a difficult and considered decision, the Board thanks Laurent for his work in strengthening the company and positioning it for the future,” said Glenn Murphy, Executive Chairman of the Board.
“Culture is at the core of lululemon, and it is the responsibility of leaders to set the right tone in our organization. Protecting the organization’s culture is one of the Board’s most important duties.”
The Board of Directors has already begun a search process for a proven and highly-experienced global Chief Executive Officer to take over the reigns.
Potdevin, who became CEO four years ago had endured his fair share of challenges since starting at the company — regularly fending off criticisms from the brand’s Founder and shareholder Chip Wilson, whose own inappropriate behaviour had plagued lululemon’s image for some years.
However, for the most part, his time at the company was positive, producing sales growth, an improved supply chain and an expanded product offering.
For now, Murphy, a former Gap CEO, has been tasked with filling Potdevin’s shoes in the interim, but without a permanent leader, it is feared the brand’s recent momentum could begin to stall.
Murphy is confident this won’t be the case. He argues that the brand can “continue to execute on lululemon’s growth strategy and drive global performance.”
According to lululemon, the company’s growth strategies remain on track to achieve $4 billion in revenue in 2020, and with its continued success in the market being rooted in its strong connection to consumers, its embodiment of the active, mindful lifestyle and its category-disrupting product innovation, it argues that a change of leadership won’t change that.