Lululemon CEO resigns suddenly; company says he ‘fell short of…standards of conduct’

Emma Crawford Hampel - BIV

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Photo: Eric Broder Van Dyke, Shutterstock

Laurent Potdevin, chief executive officer of Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), has resigned, effective immediately, the company announced February 5.

He has also resigned from his role as a board member for the company. The company did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding his departure but said in a press release, “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.”

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Potdevin has signed a separation agreement with the company that includes “a covenant not to sue and a covenant of future cooperation.” In exchange for this, the company will pay him a lump sum of US$3.35 million and a total of US$1.65 million over an 18-month period, for a total of US$5 million.

The company said it has already begun searching for a new CEO. Glenn Murphy, executive chair of the board, will take on an expanded role. Three other executives – executive vice-president for the Americas Celeste Burgoyne, chief operating officer Stuart Haselden and senior vice-president of merchandising – will also see their roles expanded.

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Potdevin, who had previously served as president of Toms Shoes, took the helm of Lululemon after former CEO Christine Day stepped down in 2013.

Shares of Lululemon were trading at US$75.75 as of press time, down 2.13% on the day, but had fallen as low as $69.66 after the announcement before recouping some of the loss.

ecrawford@biv.com
@EmmaHampelBIV

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