Lululemon Athletica Inc. announced that Laurent Potdevin has resigned as CEO and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. According to a statement, Lululemon said it “expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another, and Mr. Potdevin fell short of these standards of conduct.”
The Board of Directors has immediately begun a search process “for a proven and highly-experienced global chief executive officer.”
“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.”
In his newly-expanded role as executive chairman, Murphy will focus on achieving long-term, sustainable results for all stakeholders. Three of Lululemon’s senior leaders are being elevated and will take on additional responsibilities, reporting to Murphy: Celeste Burgoyne, executive vice president, Americas, will oversee all channel and brand-facing aspects of the global business, including stores and e-commerce, as well as brand marketing; Stuart Haselden, chief operating officer, will have responsibility for all operations related to finance, supply chain, people and technology and Sun Choe, senior vice president of merchandising, will guide all aspects of product development, design, innovation and merchandising.
Murphy added, “The Board is entirely confident that Celeste, Stuart and Sun–three leaders deeply tied to the recent momentum in the business–can continue to execute on Lululemon’s growth strategy and drive global performance. Based upon their contributions to the recent expansion of the business, their history of collaboration with one another and their strong support across the Lululemon organization, we believe this trio of leaders will take Lululemon from strength to strength.”
Today, Lululemon also reaffirmed its updated guidance provided on January 8, 2018, that reflects the ongoing momentum of the business. In addition, the company’s growth strategies remain on track to achieve $4 billion in revenue in 2020. The company’s continued success in the market it created is rooted in its strong connection to its guests and vertically integrated business model; embodiment of the active, mindful lifestyle and category-disrupting product innovation that blends fashion and function.
Executive Chairman of the company, and Chairman of the Board
Glenn Murphy has taken an active role in the strategic direction of the company since joining the Board in 2017. He has more than 30 years of success leading retail organizations to grow and succeed. He is the founder and CEO of FIS Holdings, a consumer-focused investment firm deploying a combination of operating guidance and capital flexibility. From 2007 to 2014, Mr. Murphy served as Chairman and CEO at Gap Inc. during a period of global growth and improved financial performance. Previously, Mr. Murphy served as Chairman and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation and held senior leadership roles at Loblaw Companies.
Executive Vice President, Americas
Celeste Burgoyne, executive vice president, Americas, will continue to oversee all channel and customer-facing aspects of the North American business, including stores and e-commerce, and will now add oversight of the company’s international regions, as well as brand marketing. Ms. Burgoyne joined Lululemon in 2006 to lead the U.S. expansion and has since held a series of roles of expanding responsibility, including senior vice president, retail, North America, where she was responsible for overseeing all Canadian and U.S. retail. Celeste started her career with Abercrombie & Fitch, where she held various leadership positions during her 10 years with the company.
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Stuart Haselden, chief operating officer, will continue to oversee all operations related to finance, supply chain, legal and technology, and will now add oversight of our strategic planning and people and culture functions. Stuart joined Lululemon as chief financial officer in 2015. Prior to joining Lululemon, his career spans 15 years of executive leadership at global apparel retailers, including Saks Incorporated and J. Crew Group, Inc., where he most recently served as Chief Financial Officer.
Photo courtesy Lululemon