Lululemon appoints Calvin McDonald as CEO

Key Points
  • The changes are effective on Aug. 20.
  • McDonald comes to Lululemon from Sephora and also served two years at Sears Canada.
  • This follows the resignation of former CEO Laurent Potdevin earlier this year, after he "fell short of [Lululemon's] standards of conduct."
Sephora America CEO Calvin McDonald to take over as Lululemon CEO

Calvin McDonald has been named CEO of Lululemon, replacing Laurent Potdevin, who was ousted earlier this year amid allegations of conduct violations.

The changes are effective on Aug. 20, the company said. McDonald will also become a member of Lululemon's board of directors.

McDonald comes to Lululemon from Sephora, where he served as president and CEO of the makeup retailer's Americas division. He also served as president and CEO of Sears Canada for two years.

“I’m joining lululemon at an exciting time, with the brand’s strong business momentum, guest loyalty and passionate employees,” McDonald said in a statement.

CNBC reported in February that a relationship with a female designer was one of the issues contributing to the resignation of former CEO Potdevin. Lululemon's board had been searching for a new global CEO ever since.

“Calvin McDonald has an impressive track record leading organizations through periods of significant growth and innovation," said Glenn Murphy, chairman of Lululemon's board. "He is the ideal match for the lululemon brand and culture given his strong consumer mindset, performance-driven approach, and success developing people."

Potdevin had taken the helm of Lululemon in 2014, as the company was facing operational challenges.

Lululemon was among the first to kick off the "athleisure" trend, but faced a rush of competitors such as Nike and Gap Inc. investing the space. It was criticized for lack of innovation and struggled to keep customers willing to pay its high prices.

McDonald helped Sephora become a "mobile-first" brand during his time there, and he is expected to bring the same mindset and focus to Lululemon, which will be key for the company as more retail sales move online. He also helped roll out Sephora's first beauty subscription program.

Lululemon shares closed Tuesday down about 2 percent, at $122.98, having climbed nearly 100 percent from a year ago. The company has a market capitalization of roughly $16.7 billion.