Christian Woolfenden, the CMO of London fashion startup Lyst, has left the company.
Woolfenden joined Lyst in November 2015 from Paddy Power, where he was managing director of retail.
Woolfenden is known in the ad industry for his audacious stunts. Most famously, he was the brains behind Paddy Power’s “Shave the rainforest” prank which fooled the internet into thinking it had cut down trees in the Amazon for the 2014 World Cup.
Lyst began a series of stunts after Woolfenden joined the company. It pretended to have kidnapped a DHL delivery driver in April, and also claimed to be selling puppies online as fashion accessories. UK ad regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it received six complaints about the ad.
Business Insider recently met with Woolfenden at the Lyst office in East London to discuss his ambitious plans for the company. He was planning a series of television ads and radio spots to promote the fashion company, and there was no indication that he was thinking of leaving.
Woolfenden had also recently hired Paddy Power’s former head of PR Rory Scott to Lyst. Scott remains with the company and is helping lead its US expansion.
Two sources with knowledge of Lyst’s business operations said the fourth quarter of 2016, particularly the Christmas shopping season, will be a crucial period for the company. Lyst has ambitious revenue targets that it needs to meet, and it seems things are coming down to the wire this year.
Lyst did not immediately provide a comment. Emails sent to Woolfenden’s Lyst email address could not be delivered.