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Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has gone from playing an integral role in his company's success to being a major liability. Wilson ignited a firestorm recently when he made an offhand remark on Bloomberg TV, saying that some women's bodies "don't work" for the brand's spandex-y pants. He then apologized for the remark, but the damage had been done.
Today, Reuters reports that Lululemon is replacing Wilson as acting CEO. They've hired Laurent Potdevin, an executive who was most recently with TOMS Shoes and has also worked for LVMH. Wilson will not only leave his CEO role, but is also stepping down as chairman of the company. After announcing the news, Reuters managed to sneak in another offensive Wilson remark, writing, "In the past, Wilson said he chose the name 'Lululemon' because L is not in the Japanese vocabulary. 'It's funny to watch them try to say it,' he said in a 2004 profile in the National Post Business magazine." Godspeed, you wacky Canuck.
· Lululemon Names New CEO; Founder Chip Wilson to Step Down [Reuters via BoF]
· Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson Will Give Up Chairman Role [Bloomberg]
· JCPenney Razzes Lululemon on Twitter, Awesomely [Racked]
· Behold Lululemon's New CEO Help Wanted Ad [Racked]