- Lululemon founder Chip Wilson is now one of the 500 richest people in the world.
- His fortune hit $US3.9 billion thanks to a 15% surge in shares of the company.
- He stepped down from the board in 2015, but still owns a 13% stake in the activewear brand.
- Wilson is known for his controversial comments.
Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has been named among the 500 richest people in the world.
62-year-old Wilson, who founded Lululemon Athletica Inc. in Vancouver, Canada in 1998, has the activeware brand’s successful second quarter and a 15% surge in company shares to thank for his $US3.9 billion fortune, according to Bloomberg.
Lululemon beat Wall Street’s net sales estimates for the eighth quarter in a row on Thursday, making Wilson $US311 million richer on Friday and adding another $US41 million on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports.
He is now the 496th richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Wilson stepped down from the board in 2015, a year after resigning as chairman and three years after stepping aside as chief innovation and branding officer of the company, though he returned to the business in 2013 to help deal with a crisis that saw Lululemon recall 17% of its famous yoga pants for being too sheer.
The founder, known for making headlines throughout his tenure with a number of controversial comments, still owns a 13% stake in the company.
In 2013, he caused outrage when he suggested to Bloomberg TV that Lululemon pants “don’t work for some women’s bodies.”
Speaking about quality issues some customers were having with the yoga pants, he said: “Frankly some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for it.
“They don’t work for some women’s bodies… it’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.”
He later posted a bizarre video apology for his remarks and begged customers to give the company a second chance.
In 2009, he claimed in a blog post that smoking and birth control pills led to high divorce rates, and he also once told Canada’s National Post Business Magazine that he chose the name Lululemon for his company because he thought it was funny that Japanese people couldn’t pronounce the letter “L.”
Speaking on the moment he found out he was a billionaire,in a 2016 interview he said: “There’s not much difference between having probably $US20 million and being a billionaire quite frankly.”
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