Lululemon & Yogawear
Lululemon's stock has surged some 75 percent since its June low after boardroom battles and disappointing results.
Lululemon Athletica Inc founder Chip Wilson said on Monday he is quitting the board of directors of the yogawear retailer, hit nearly two years ago by a major recall, because the company was back on track with a strong management team. Wilson, a sometimes controversial figure who helped build the Canadian company into an international success story, said the move will also allow him to focus on Kit and Ace, a casual wear company that his wife and son launched last year.
A spokesman for Wilson said he has no immediate plans to trim his 13.75 percent stake in the company. «I now believe the company has returned to the core values that made it great», he said in a statement. Kit and Ace plans to open at least 100 stores across North America by 2019. Lululemon’s stock has surged some 75 percent since its June low after boardroom battles and disappointing results. Wilson, who founded Lululemon in 1998, withdrew from day-to-day management in early 2012, and said in December 2013 he was stepping down as chairman. He stayed on as a director.
Wilson had returned to take a more active role in operations in spring 2013, after Lululemon issued a high-profile recall of its signature yoga pants following complaints they were too see-through.
The recall led to the departures of top executives and a public relations headache. In December 2013, the company named a new chief executive officer, Laurent Potdevin. Problems were compounded when Wilson said fabric in some pants was not holding up because «some women’s bodies just actually don’t work» for Lululemon’s clothing. Wilson later said he was «sad for the repercussions of his actions».
Tensions remained, with Wilson lashing out last June, saying the new chairman and another director were too focused on short-term growth. A proxy war was averted when Wilson agreed to sell half of his 27 percent stake to private equity firm Advent International for $845 million.
Lululemon athletica inc., incorporated on November 21, 2005, is a designer and retailer of technical athletic apparel operating primarily in North America and Australia. The Company’s yoga-inspired apparel is marketed under the lululemon athletica brand name. The Company offers a range of performance apparel and accessories for women, men and female youth. Its apparel assortment, including items, such as fitness pants, shorts, tops and jackets, is designed for healthy lifestyle activities such as yoga, running and general fitness. The Company’s fitness-related accessories include an array of items, such as bags, socks, underwear, yoga mats, instructional yoga digital versatile discs (DVDs) and water bottles. As of January 29, 2012, its branded apparel was principally sold through 174 stores that are located in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.