Chip Wilson is out, Laurent Potdevin is in at Lululemon.
Potdevin, who most recently served as president of TOMS shoes, has been named as the company’s new chief executive officer – filling a position previously held by Christine Day, who announced she was stepping down in June.
“I am excited and honoured to be joining Lululemon,” said Potdevin in a company statement early Tuesday.
Wilson will also resign from his role as non-executive chairmain of the Vancouver-based company, a month after he sparked a firestorm of controversy when he suggested women’s bodies were to blame for sheer and piling problems with its pants.
He later offered a half-hearted video apology for his remarks on Nov. 8, taking responsibility for the “impact” of his words, saying he was “sad for the repercussions of [his] actions.”
Replacing Wilson as chairman will be Michael Casey, the company’s current lead director of the board. Casey is expected to assume Wilson’s role within the next six months, before the company’s annual meeting in June 2014.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Casey made an effort to distance the company’s new leadership from remarks Wilson made about women’s bodies.
“I don’t think the company would have made the same statements that Chip did, but Chip was speaking for himself,” Casey said.
As of Tuesday, over 19,000 people have signed a petition calling on Wilson to "stop shaming women's bodies: apologize and make clothes for women of all sizes."
Earlier this year, the company lost millions after it pulled its “too sheer” pants from store shelves after customers complained. The problem was later blamed on production issues.
A class-action lawsuit was also lodged against Lululemon, alleging the company inflated the value of its stock by failing to disclose quality defects in its Luon yoga pants.
The claims have yet to be proven in court.
Wilson founded the high-end yogawear company in 1998 after an "exhilarating" yoga class. Lululemon opened its first store in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood in 2000.
Also on HuffPost:
Despite being known for edgy and controversial clothing, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/urban-outfitters-all-its-recent-controversies-explained/2012/03/29/gIQAP2lDjS_blog.html">Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne's</a> support of anti-gay marriage presidential candidate Rick Santorum led to a boycott, according to the Washington Post.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote in January 2013 that Obamacare wasn't a form socialism -- as he had called it in 2009 -- but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/whole-foods-ceo-obamacare-fascism_n_2488029.html?utm_hp_ref=business">"more like fascism."</a>
Yoga apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica may have annoyed some of its more egalitarian customers when it included a quote from <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/business/media/combines-ayn-rand-and-yoga.html?_r=0">Ayn Rand's famously pro-capitalist novel <em>Atlas Shrugged</em> on its bags</a>, the New York Times reported. Founder and chairman Dennis J. Wilson is a known fan of the book.
New Balance customers ran a petition on Change.org after <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/10/new-balance-romney-gay-marriage_n_923647.html">Chairman Jim Davis donated $500,000 to pro-Mitt Romney</a> Super PAC Restore Our Future. New Balance's CEO released a statement in response, reaffirming the company's support of gay marriage.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a popular destination for forward-thinking music lovers, but the<a href="http://www.coachellarecordings.com/press-statement/"> brand ran into some hot water</a> when Philip Anschutz, head of its parent company AEG, made <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/07/19/543801/consumer-brands-conservative-attack-ads/?mobile=nc">a $50,000 donation to a Boehner-linked Super PAC</a>, according to ThinkProgress.
TOMS shoes founder and CEO Blake Mycoskie found himself called out after speaking at an event hosted by Focus on the Family, an anti-abortion group. Mycoskie later claimed he was unaware of the <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2011/07/toms_shoes_founder_might_have.html">"full extent of Focus on the Family's beliefs."</a>
Ex-CEO of GoDaddy.com Bob Parsons caused a controversy when he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/31/bob-parsons-godaddy-ceo-elephant-hunt_n_843121.html">uploaded a video of himself hunting an elephant</a>. He was replaced as CEO shortly after.