Lululemon's CEO has suddenly resigned -- and the company is calling him out for poor conduct

YouTube/LululemonLululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin has suddenly resigned from his position at the head of activewear brand.
  • Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin has resigned effective immediately.
  • Lululemon released a statement suggesting that Potdevin engaged in poor conduct.
  • The chief executive’s departure is a “blow” to Lululemon at a critical time for the company, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail consulting firm GlobalData Retail.

Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin has resigned as chief executive and a member of the company’s board effective immediately, Lululemon said Monday.

“Lululemon expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another, and Mr. Potdevin fell short of these standards of conduct,” the company said in a statement.

Lululemon did not elaborate further on the reasons for his resignation.

“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,” Lululemon executive chairman Glenn Murphy said in a statement. “Culture is at the core of Lululemon, and it is the responsibility of leaders to set the right tone in our organisation.

“Protecting the organisation’s culture is one of the board’s most important duties,” Murphy added.

Potdevin assumed the role of CEO in January 2014. The company is now searching for his replacement.

The chief executive’s departure is a “blow” to Lululemon at a critical time for the company, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail consulting firm GlobalData Retail.

“Lululemon needs a CEO to guide it as it expands overseas and tries to make further gains in its home market,” Saunders wrote in a note to clients. “It is crucial that the right person is selected, but it is equally important that the task is undertaken with urgency so that Lululemon doesn’t lose momentum.”

Saunders called Lululemon’s statement on Potdevin’s resignation “vague and damaging.”

“Lululemon owes it to investors and to customers to be clear about the reasons Mr. Potdevin was made to depart,” Saunders wrote. “As a company that prides itself on transparency and openness, we would expect it to have an honest conversation with stakeholders.”

“Failure to do so will likely lead to speculation which could ultimately harm the brand,” he added.

If you work at Lululemon and have information to share, email [email protected]

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