Lululemon CEO dismissed over “standards of conduct”

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Laurent Potdevin

The chief executive of athleisure retailer Lululemon, Laurent Potdevin, has resigned abruptly after he “fell short” of “standards of conduct”.

A management crisis has arisen following Potdevin’s mysterious departure, with the brand not providing any further details about the chief executive of nearly four years’ conduct.

Executive chairman Glenn Murphy will take control of the company alongside a group of executives while it searches for a successor.

Sources close to Lululemon told the Financial Times that the decision to dismiss him immediately came after numerous allegations of actions or events of misconduct, and that the retailer had chosen to keep details private to protect individuals involved.

Despite his dismissal, he is set to receive a payout of $5 million (£3.58 million), including a $3.35 million (£2.4 million) instant payout and a further $1.65 million (£1.18 million) to be paid over the next 18 months.

This is not the first instance of controversy the Lululemon has endured.

In 2013 its chairman Chip Wilson resigned after he responded to complaints about one of the brand’s products by stating “some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” with them.

The news has caused shares in the retailer to dive 3.5 per cent to $75 each.

In December, Lululemon reported healthy growth of 14 per cent in its latest quarter to £461.6 million, exceeding analysts estimates.

This follows a year of solid growth for the retailer off the back of the athleisure craze.

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