Lululemon chair Chip Wilson resigns after blaming women’s bodies for company’s woes

A month ago, the founder of lululemon athletica suggested to an interviewer that some women's bodies were to blame for the Vancouver-based company's see-through yoga pants fiasco. Then Chip Wilson added fuel to the backlash by releasing a pseudo-apology on video—one that apologized to the staff of lululemon, but not its customers.

Now Wilson is on his way out as chair of lululemon. The company announced on Monday (December 9) that Wilson plans to resign from the post before lululemon's annual general meeting in June 2014. 

Wilson will stay on the board as a director. Lead director Michael Casey has been selected to replace Wilson as chair.

Lululemon also announced that Laurent Potdevin, former president of TOMS Shoes, will succeed Christine Day as CEO in January 2014. The company's CEO since 2008, Day had revealed her departure plans earlier this year.

"lululemon's success has always been and will continue to be my highest priority. I am delighted that Laurent will be joining lululemon and believe his talents and experience ideally complement our existing management team. I know he will have a strong impact on the business as he has the vision and leadership capabilities necessary to create and direct its future," Wilson said in a news release"As Laurent joins as CEO, I believe that now is the right time for me to begin to transition out of my role as Chairman of the Board."

Comments (20) Add New Comment
IMO
There is a a large (no pun intended) percent of woman that should not be prancing around in lulu pants out side of the gym. I think Chip was being honest on a topic people refuse to be honest about.
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Bruce
Watching that without sound was extremely creepy. Is this a cult or a company?
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Mx
I have voluptuous friends. Do they need to be displaying their bits in tight yoga gear? No.
@IMO I agree with you.
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shpants
I wish ugly,superficial attitudes were as easy to spot as cellulite in lululemmings.

sadly, this is not the case IMO.

anyhoo, i think no one should wear lulus in or outside of the gym. Lulu has become a symbol of social status like other god awful brands... coach... uggs. srsly, wtf vancouver? I will never wear lulu on the premise that an over priced article of clothing validates my athleticism or me as a person. So absurd.

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an admittedly shallow perspective
imagine a world where all women wear yoga pants and sports bras. then we could see exactly what we're getting into, without the trouble and expense of dinner, drinks, etc. beforehand.

just a quick glance and it's either yeah (and ba-da-bing!!) or nay (unless you're a chubby-chaser).

yoga pants rock and the sheerer, the dearer. thanks lulu!!!


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shop elsewhere
For those ladies looking for the old quality in lulu's wunder under crops, try these from American Eagle:
http://www.ae.com/web/browse/product.jsp?productId=0596_7627_001&catId=c...

Same fit, thickness and quality as the old lulu crops, and usually on sale for $20. I wear them indoor rock climbing, usually scratch them against the wall a million times, and they still haven't pilled or showed signs of wear.
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out at night
Chip can use more downtime to catch up on his re-reading of the works of Ayn Rand, that hack writer who has inspired quasi-smart people the world over to tap into the epicentre of adolescent, fatally flawed and painfully simplistic 'reasoning'. Apparently Chip's a huge fan, so maybe now he has time to build a monument to Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. I can even suggest a name for such an edifice: Pile of Shit.
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Jen
IMO - Who decides who should or should not be wearing lulu pants outside the gym? You? Are you special? I missed the memo on that one. I get it, there is a lot of fat prejudice out there. I think its embarrassing for anyone that decides to wear tights as pants...not just women you find visually unappealing. It is a double standard that its ok for certain people to wear these pants so you can eye-fuck them.
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RUK
Inasmuch as I am all for Canadian businesses making money - the hell with American Eagle or Nike or RBK etc - I am hopeful that Chip Wilson's move is a positive one for Lululemon.

His comments were, indeed, very stupid.

On the bright side, moving out of operational chairpersonship may give him the time and focus to start up another business.

More power to Canadian companies.

As for the quality of the stuff, I have some workout gear and it has been fantastic, albeit way more expensive than the Firstar stuff that is also good. It's not a matter of image to me - dudes get no status bump from the Lulu logo.
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Bruce
@OutAtNight

Don't be so critical, he balances out his Ayn Rand with devotion to "Landmark Forum". It is said to be an informal requirement for promotion in lulu.
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Chris
Women (and men) can wear whatever the fuck they like. Last I checked, we didn't live in in a dictatorship.
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christine
personally I think tight lulu lemon or any other pant like that should be a privilege not a right. there are some women that would definitely look better in baggier clothes
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Lulus are ...
so OUTDATED.
its NOT 2001 anymore.
STOP buying these yoga pants and start looking like women.
IF you must wear yoga pants then for gawd sake...do YOGA.
Don't wear them outside or shopping or to dinner or WORK. maybe just throw them out in the trash were they belong with the UGGS.

ps. besides being outdated, why do you want to support something that is being made in CHINA. and you wonder why the quality and fabric is so poor.
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James Blatchford
Chip has done the right thing...his ass was getting too fat for that chair.
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Forest
LLL's shitty clothing is crap made in China. The fabric is of such low quality, itchy, plastic like, and thin. (Can this be is the reason that it is see-through?).
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cathy
i do yoga in a cool yoga class, great instructor-no one wears LLL.
i wear tights, old cargo shorts and assorted t shirts-works great.
we are comfortable, healthy and really enjoy ourselves.
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why be hating
Watch the Bloomberg video if you haven't yet. IMO he doesn't say anything that insults the people who wear those pants. The issue is pilling, which - just like expensive or inexpensive bathing suits - happens when the material rubs on other materials. I don't have a thigh gap. I have inner thigh chub rub. It's not the pants. It's my body and I'm fine with that. I think that's all he was saying. So haters maybe just cool it. Thank God I have good friends who will tell me when things just don't fit right. I don't get offended. I just buy a size up or something else. It's that simple.
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Bruce
Just to be clear, my post about "Landmark" was sarcastic. It's about as sane as Ayn Rand's "objectivism" cult.
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Hazlit
"Women (and men) can wear whatever the fuck they like. Last I checked, we didn't live in in a dictatorship."

Actually that's not true--we can't go naked. There IS a dictatorship of taste when it comes to nudity. We're weird--we have this absolute against nudity, but if you're female you can wear a burka or a bikini (and woe to anyone who objects).

My rule is simple--let's be consistent. If clothing is an unregulated space, then nudity should be no different than anything else. If it is a regulated space--then we should be able to compel fat women out of their lulus--end of story.

The "Let's be reasonable" argument--which I always get when I say this, is merely a way to impose community standards on people.

So let's be clear—when it comes to clothing we're ALL hypocrites--sometimes (when it suits us) we're totally libertarian, at other moments (when it suits us) we're totally tyrannical.
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out at night
RE: pilling, thigh rub, etc.

I have thunderous thighs, due to my genetic make-up and years and years of cycling. My thighs touch and I'm more than cool with that. My clothes only pill in the thighal area when they are made of poor quality fabric. I've learned over the years to be very discriminating about what I buy, be it casual, dress or athletic wear. If Chip's stuff is pilling between the legs, it is NOT the wearers' fault, it is his. He shouldn't have to resign, he should make better stuff!
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