Chip Wilson, the controversial founder of Vancouver’s famous yoga wear brand lululemon, announced Monday he is stepping down from the company’s Board of Directors.
Wilson founded lululemon in 1998, growing the business from one Vancouver storefront to an international activewear juggernaut with over 250 worldwide locations, forever cementing in the collective consciousness the notion of “yoga pants” as fashion.
This is the second time Wilson has left lululemon; in 2012 he left his gig as Chief Innovation and Branding Officer to go on sabbatical in Australia. He returned in the spring of 2013 to help the company deal with a “crisis,” better known to popular culture as the “see-through yoga pants” problem.
Part of his method of crisis management was to go on television to say that maybe some ladies are too fat for lululemon’s pants.
Now, says Wilson, in a media statement, he feels he’s gotten his company “back on track,” and he can depart once more to focus on his own stuff, like his new clothing business, Kit & Ace (and perhaps the matter of his really big dock).
“I have achieved the goals I set when I came back, and after careful thought, I believe that now is the right time to step away from the board. I leave behind a new and talented management team and new board construct. By stepping away from lululemon I will now have more opportunity to work with my wife and son as they grow their new business, Kit & Ace. I am so excited for Kit & Ace because it is where street clothing is going. Shannon and JJ have caught the next wave.”