Lululemon Founder Steps Down from Board

Resigned as chairman in 2013

Feb 2, 2015
Outside Magazine
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Wilson stepped down as chairman of Lululemon in 2013 after making disparaging remarks about customers' body types.    Pat Young/lululemon athletica

Chip Wilson, who founded the Canadian apparel brand Lululemon Athletica in 1998, resigned from the company’s board of directors on Monday. The move comes as Lululemon faces challenges and an increasingly unhappy consumer base, according to the AP.

In 2013, customers grumbled that some of Lululemon’s yoga pants were sometimes too sheer and see-through. Pilling, holes, and tearing seams—expensive problems to fix, according to the AP—forced the company to recall 17 percent of its black yoga pants. Wilson, who at the time was Lululemon’s chairman, later drew fire when he suggested that the problems with the pants were due to customers’ body types and wearing improper sizes. He agreed to step down but remained a board member.

The AP reports that Wilson still owns about 10.3 million shares (7.8 percent) in the company, which is worth more than $650 million.

“I am happy to say that I now believe the company has returned to the core values that made it great—product, brand, and culture—and is back on track,” Wilson said in a statement, according to CBC News. “After careful thought, I believe that now is the right time to step away from the board.” He plans to help his wife and son with their new business, Kit & Ace, which makes machine-washable cashmere clothing and other apparel.

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