Lululemon’s Chief Executive Resigns Over Behavior

Lululemon’s Chief Executive Resigns Over Behavior


After The New York Times and other news outlets published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, other claims of workplace misconduct have cost executives in fashion, media, politics and other industries their jobs. Lululemon declined to say whether sexual misconduct was behind Mr. Potdevin’s resignation.

In a separation agreement dated Friday and filed with regulators, Lululemon said it would give Mr. Potdevin an upfront cash payment of $3.35 million, followed by $1.65 million spread over 18 months.

Lululemon stock, which is up 16.5 percent year over year, was down 3 percent in after-hours trading on Monday.

The company built its name on the ability to recognize and serve consumers whose interest in well-being defined their aesthetic. By combining the hippy-esque styling of most yoga clothes with the performance specifications of sports brands such as Nike and Adidas, the company and its founder, Dennis J. Wilson, created workout clothes that could be worn in everyday life to telegraph a value system and lifestyle.

The expensive fitness finery spawned a cult following and paved the way for brands like Tory Sport and Gap’s Athleta label.

But in 2013, the company recalled 17 percent of its black yoga pants after complaints that the fabric was too sheer. Some of the women who went to Lululemon stores to return the thinning bottoms were asked by employees to put on the pants and then bend over. Mr. Wilson, known as Chip, told a Bloomberg TV reporter months later that “some women’s bodies don’t work for the pants.”

By the end of the year, Mr. Wilson had stepped down from his post as chairman and Mr. Potdevin had agreed to replace Christine M. Day as the chief executive.



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