Lululemon Announces New CEO as Founder Steps Down

Following a year of PR disasters, Lululemon is making some upper-level changes to start 2014 fresh.
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Dhani Mau
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Following a year of PR disasters, Lululemon is making some upper-level changes to start 2014 fresh.
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Following a year of PR disasters, Lululemon is making some upper-level changes to start 2014 fresh -- including a new CEO.

First there was the infamous see-through pants scandal, which forced Lululemon to recall about 17% of its yoga pants, costing the company almost $70 million. Christine Day, Lululemon's CEO of five years, announced on the heels of that debacle that she would be leaving the company.

To make matters worse, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson gave an interview to Bloomberg several months later, defending the brand's quality issues by saying, seriously, that "some bodies don't work for" the yoga pants because there can be "rubbing through the thighs."

On Tuesday, Lululemon announced that Laurent Potdevin will step into the CEO role next month and Wilson will step down as the company's non-executive chairman at the end of the fiscal year. Potdevin was most recently president of Toms Shoes, where he lead the company's global expansion, and before that, Burton Snowboards. He even did a stint at LVMH, perhaps making him the perfect fit for a sportswear brand with an air of exclusivity.

Another factor that should also make him a good fit: He doesn't seem to have caused any controversy in his career that we could find. Hopefully 2014 will be a calmer year for Lululemon.

Michael Casey, lead director of the board of directors, will be assuming Wilson's role as non-executive chairman. Wilson will remain on the board of directors.