Lululemon’s leadership changes spark confusion and lingering anger

Chairman Chip Wilson, whose comments last month set off waves of outrage, is stepping down from the company. In some cases, the move hasn’t quelled the outrage. In others, it has stoked fires.

As a troubled year for Lululemon comes to an end, the company is hitting the reset button on its leadership. Yet even that action is causing headaches for the brand.

Chairman and co-founder Chip Wilson, whose comments on Bloomberg TV last month caused massive outrage on blogs and social media—he said some women’s bodies “don’t actually work” for Lululemon’s yoga pants—is stepping down from his position.

Meanwhile, the company has named a new CEO, Laurent Potdevin, formerly of Toms Shoes.

Those concurrent announcements, which many news organizations have combined into single headlines, seem to be the source for considerable confusion on social media and elsewhere. Many people are under the impression that Potdevin is Wilson’s immediate successor, when he is actually filling the role that CEO Christine Day will vacate in January. (Over the summer, Day announced her intention to step down.)

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