Chip Wilson, the founder of lululemon, has earned himself millions of fans and enemies: You either love his yoga pants, or hate him for capitalizing on yoga and spreading his Ayn Rand antics. But either way, his success is undeniable, and he seems read to call it a day: He announced today that he’ll be stepping down as Chief Innovation and Branding Officer effective at the end of this month, leaving the company in the hands of female CEO Christine Day. Will this change your yoga pants? We hope so.
Wilson announced his move today, explaining that he’ll be remaining with the company as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also gave his vote of confidence to Day:
I remain deeply committed to the Company’s continued success and given the strength we’ve built into the organization over the past three years, I feel comfortable leaving the company with Christine Day at the helm of a world class management team whom I fully believe will continue to elevate our world. I look forward to continuing to contribute in my role as Chairman of the Board.
There’s little word on why he decided to leave, although his huge success has probably allowed him to leave quite comfortably–Wilson jumped high up the list of wealthiest Canadian families, going from 49th to 15th in 2011. , his worth increasing 128% to $2.85 billion. Sounds like a pretty nice way to retire.
Of course, no one knows whether this will really change your yoga pants; all signs point to “no,” given that he’ll still be sitting on the board, and there’s no massive overhaul in company management. But we’re excited to see what Day does with the company. Not only is it great to see a woman at the top of a company that mostly caters to women; in all likelihood she’ll approach the job slightly differently than her former boss (whether it’s gender-related or not). We doubt you’ll see drastic changes in your yoga gear anytime soon, but we are excited to see another female athletics brand headed by a woman.
Photo: lululemon athletica