Lululemon Founder Resigns

Lululemon2After a series of controversial PR moves, Lululemon Founder and CEO Chip Wilson has resigned from the board of directors. BizCom has two posts about the company over the past couple of years: 

The problems seemed to start when customers complained about the sheer fabric used in the company's pricey yoga pants. The New York Times explains the situation: 

Some women who tried to return the pants at Lululemon stores said they were told to put them on and bend over so staff members could determine just how see-through they were. After a monthslong public-relations disaster, Wilson, who was chairman of the company, went on Bloomberg TV that November to share what he thought was a reasonable explanation. "Some women's bodies don't work for the pants," he said. "It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time."

In a video in 2013, Wilson tried to apologize, but it didn't go very well. The Times writer describes Wilson: "More than once, the way Wilson spoke reminded me of the airhead fashion model Ben Stiller plays in "Zoolander."

Here's an excerpt from the company's news release about Wilson: 

Mr. Wilson concluded: "I have achieved the goals I set when I came back, and after careful thought, I believe that now is the right time to step away from the board. I leave behind a new and talented management team and new board construct. By stepping away from lululemon I will now have more opportunity to work with my wife and son as they grow their new business, Kit & Ace. I am so excited for Kit & Ace because it is where street clothing is going. Shannon and JJ have caught the next wave." Founded in 2014, Kit & Ace produces Technical Luxury™ products by using Technical Cashmere™ blends.

Image source.

Discussion Starters: 

  • Read the NY Times article about Chip Wilson. What impressions do you get of the man and the situation?
  • Read the entire news release. Analyze the tone, organization, and word choice. How is the company representing the situation?