by Elizabeth Bradley
Lululemon just announced the immediate resignation of CEO Laurent Potdevin. In a statement Monday, the company said Potdevin’s poor conduct and failure to meet their established standards of integrity caused his hasty departure. The announcement did not provide specifics of what ultimately forced the recent announcement. Potdevin had been at the helm as CEO since 2014.
The multi-billion-dollar company has been a key driver in galvanizing the athleisure trend. Under Potdevin’s tenure, Lululemon upgraded its fabrics while expanding its existing product line by adding new patterns and embracing vibrant colors. Also, the brand has successfully increased its online presence and sales under Potdevin. Currently, Lululemon continues to expand its global footprint with a rapid entry into China.
Unfortunately for Lululemon, this is not their first leader whose conduct and character were questioned. After criticism claiming that the material in pants was too sheer, founder and former CEO Chip Wilson was under fire for his remarks. Wilson blamed women’s bodies, specifically their thighs, for not being suitable to wear the company’s pants.
As Lululemon faces another issue with leadership conduct, its board assured the public and investors in the press release that company culture is of utmost importance and recognized that the leader holds a responsibility to set the example.
The board of directors is currently searching for a new CEO. During the interim period, three senior executives will expand their responsibility to continue growing sales and innovation. Since the announcement, Lululemon’s stock has fallen three percent in after-hours trading.