Lululemon CEO resigned in part due to romantic relationship with designer

Laurent Potdevin resigned from the top spot and from Lululemon’s board of directors

A relationship between the CEO of Lululemon Athletica Inc. and a former designer at the company is one of several instances in which the chief executive fell short of the retailer’s standards of conduct, a source familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Laurent Potdevin resigned from the top spot and from Lululemon’s board of directors effectively immediately last Friday.

There was a range of incidents that contravened the company’s conduct code, the source said — including a years-long relationship with a designer who left the company in 2014 but continued working as a contractor later on, though the company did not renew her contract this year.

Potdevin could not be reached for comment about the workplace relationship, while Lululemon declined to respond.

The athleisure retailer said in a statement Tuesday that it “expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another, and (Potdevin) fell short of these standards of conduct.”

He and the company reached a separation agreement that will see the ex-CEO receive $3.35 million cash and a further $1.65 million in monthly instalments over 18 months, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Potdevin agreed not to sue the company and to co-operate with it in the future, among other stipulations, in exchange.

While the retailer’s board of directors is searching for a new CEO, some shareholder advocates and analysts are calling on the company to disclose more information about the abrupt resignation. At least two U.S. law firms have launched investigations into the company.

Potdevin took over as CEO at Lululemon from Christine Day after she announced plans to leave the company. The board of directors appointed him in December 2013. He previously served as president for TOMS Shoes and CEO of Burton Snowboards.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Walk to end abuse for those who can’t

SOWINS’s Debbie Scarborough points to the lethal potential in intimate partner abuse

Penticton trio perform classical music recital

Penticton locals Mia Harris, Christine Robinson and Dennis Nordlund perform on May 26

TGIF: Penticton and South Okanagan events listings

Live theatre, concerts, events, art exhibits and more from around the South Okanagan

Flooding complicates summer fun, health authority warns

Avoid fast-flowing water such as creeks and rivers.

Evacuation orders lifted around Osoyoos Lake

An evacuation order lifted for 15 properties around lake

What’s happening

Find out what is happening around the valley this sunshine-filled May weekend

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Athlete of the week: Declen Blondin

Declen Blondin is the Penticton Western News/Canadian Tire athlete of the week

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Most Read