CEO of Lululemon Resigns; Misconduct Cited

Effective immediately Laurent Potdevin the CEO at Lululemon Athletica has resigned from the yoga wear maker said the company in a prepared statement on Monday.

Lululemon said that Potdevin had fallen short of conduct and standards to respect employees and show integrity. The board of directors at Lululemon has started its search for a new CEO. Potdevin will be removed from a board position he also held.

The executive chairman of the board at Lululemon Glenn Murphy said that while it has been a considered and difficult decision, the board thanked Potdevin for the work he did in strengthening the business and positioning for the future.

The board’s chairman added that the culture is at Lululemon’s core and it is the company’s leaders that hold the responsibility of setting the correct tone in the organization. Protecting the culture of the organization is one of the important duties of the board.

The yoga wear maker declined to make any further comment on why they had removed Potdevin so abruptly from Lululemon. Potdevin has been the CEO at the company since January of 2014. Prior to being the CEO at Lululemon, Potdevin was the Tom Shoes’ president and the CEO at Burton Snowboards based in Vermont.

Shares of Lululemon were down over 3% in afterhours trading on Monday following the release of the news. Lululemon promoted three of its management team members to oversee more of the operations on a day-to-day basis, e-commerce growth, marketing, product innovation as well as enhancements in its supply chain.

While the motive for the change is not clear, some see the departure of Potdevin as a hit to Lululemon especially due to the difficult times the retail industry is going through at present.

An analyst said that although the executive chairman is capable over the short term, the company needs a strong CEO to guide it in its overseas expansion and as it attempts to make more gains domestically.

However, the analyst added that it was critical the company chooses the right person, but equally as important the task takes on a sense of urgency so the company does not lose the momentum it has built.

Lululemon has offered very few details at this juncture to protect the privacy of the individuals involved said people aware of the situation. Potdevin’s behavior was not limited to just a single incident, said the same people.