Lululemon Founder Blasts Management

lululemon Wrunning layout

CBJ — Chip Wilson, the outspoken founder of Lululemon, has blasted the company’s management team saying the yoga apparel company has “lost its way” and that “a call to action is needed.”

Wilson founded Lululemon in 1998 and the Vancouver-based company became well-known for its stretchy yoga pants. He resigned from the board of directors last year. He claims to still own a 14.2% stake in the business.

Wilson is upset that competitors such as Under Armour and Nike are stealing Lululemon’s market share as they boost their selection of yoga pants, leggings and other athletic wear.

He said Lululemon’s management and board needs to come up with a clear strategy to grow. He also said he wants board members to be elected by shareholders every year

“Management competence is uninspiring at best,” he said in a letter.

Wilson said he wrote the letter because the company would not allow him to address shareholders at Lululemon’s annual meeting.

Lululemon said in a statement that it has “the right” board members and leadership in place.

“We remain focused on our commitment to inspiring our guests in their sweaty pursuits,” the company said.

Lululemon posted a 15% rise in revenue and 11% rise in profit in the year ending Jan. 31, 2016, compared with the previous year. It will report financial results for its fiscal first quarter next week.

Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. are up about 10% in the last year.


CMHC logoCBJ May 2016