In an open letter to shareholders released Wednesday, Lululemon Athletica Inc founder Chip Wilson criticized the retailer’s board, calling for annual election of the entire board to make directors more accountable for the company’s performance.
Wilson, who has a 14.2 percent stake in the company, said the company has lost its way and needs a strategy to regain its edge.
“As a long-term investor in Lululemon, I am uncomfortable with the lack of urgency, stewardship and performance of our great company. I have not heard a strategy nor seen actions that lead me to believe we will regain our competitive position and secure long-term returns. This is unacceptable and the board needs to understand that I – indeed all shareholders – will be watching closely,” Wilson wrote.
He noted that since December 2013, when the current management team took control, Under Armour Inc. has climbed 79 percent and Nike Inc. has risen 45 percent. “Yet Lululemon stock has dropped 8 percent in the midst of the greatest change in the way people have dressed in the history of the world,” he wrote.
Wilson, who founded Lululemon in 1998, left the board in February 2015 after disagreements with fellow directors. He had withdrawn from day-to-day management in early 2012, and stepped down as chairman in December 2013. Wilson launched Kit and Ace, a luxury casual wear company, in July 2014.
The full letter can be viewed here.
Photo courtesy Lululemon