Lululemon’s CEO, Laurent Potdevin, abruptly resigned from his post last week, amid allegations of workplace impropriety, and the company has since provided little to no information about his departure, a move that, according to Retail Dive, is doing more harm than good.
“Potdevin, according to several reports, had carried on a relationship with a subordinate and may have shifted her status to become a contractor in order to avoid having to follow the company’s rules,” the story notes. But instead of confirming or denying these reports, Lululemon decided to basically ignore them in their public response to their most important executive’s exit.
Citing “a range of instances where he demonstrated a lack of leadership,” the company issued a statement that said it “expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another, and Mr. Potdevin fell short of these standards of conduct.”
And while the story notes that “Lululemon was widely commended for its timely (if not well elucidated) move in showing Potdevin the door,” the “murky details” surrounding the situation don’t do the company any favors in either the reputation department or with investors.
In addition to the workplace relationship allegations, the story also notes that there have been reports of a “‘toxic’ work environment” that “doesn’t live up to its own professed philosophy of mindfulness and inner peace.”
If nothing else, it’s another blow to the reputation of a company still in recovery from the words and actions of founder (and noted asshole) Chip Wilson, who infamously said that “only women too big to wear his pants” had quality concerns with the clothing.
The monsters, they’re everywhere.
You can read more about it at Retail Dive.