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Lululemon CEO Resigns Amid Unspecified Conduct Violation

Lululemon CEO Resigns Amid Unspecified Conduct Violation

Laurent Potdevin has resigned as CEO of lululemon athletica and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective Feb. 6, 2018. In a statement, the athletic apparel retailer noted that it “expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another” and that Potdevin “fell short of these standards of conduct.”

The company has not stated what Potdevin’s conduct violation consisted of. The misconduct didn’t have anything to do with the company’s finances or operations, according to Bloomberg. It spanned a range of incidents and involved multiple individuals who asked not to be identified because lululemon is keeping the matter private, the report said.

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Potdevin, who joined the company in December 2013, will receive an upfront cash payment of $3.35 million and another $1.65 million over 18 months from lululemon upon his departure.

With Potdevin’s resignation, the lululemon Board of Directors elevated Chairman Glenn Murphy to the position of Executive Chairman.

“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 Murphy in a statement. “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.”

The Board has immediately begun a search process for an experienced global CEO.

Three of lululemon's senior leaders are being elevated and will take on additional responsibilities, reporting to Murphy:

  • Celeste Burgoyne, EVP of 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, COO and CFO, will have responsibility for all operations related to finance, supply chain, people and technology; and
  • Sun Choe, Senior VP of Merchandising, will guide all aspects of product development, design, innovation and merchandising.

Seeking to reassure investors after the resignation, lululemon reaffirmed its forecast. The retailer expects to post Q4 profit of $1.25 to $1.27 a share, and revenue of as much as $915 million. Comparable sales are projected to increase in the high single digits.

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