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

Emma Crawford Hampel - BIV


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.

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.

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