Lululemon Taps Sephora Executive as New CEO

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

Lululemon Athletica Inc. has found its next CEO, after initiating a search in February after CEO Laurent Potdevin abruptly resigned for falling short of the company’s “standards of conduct.” The athletic apparel company has appointed Calvin McDonald, to serve as CEO, effective August 20. McDonald hails from Sephora, where he served as president and CEO of Americas for the past five years.

“Calvin McDonald has an impressive track record leading organizations through periods of significant growth and innovation. He is the ideal match for the lululemon brand and culture given his strong consumer mindset, performance-driven approach, and success developing people,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman of the Board of Directors of lululemon. “Each member of our Board met him during our thorough process. We’re confident Calvin will maintain the momentum in the business and take lululemon to new heights.”

Under Mr. McDonald’s leadership, Sephora delivered double-digit growth year after year, expanded its product offerings, created new digital platforms and store experiences, and expanded in global markets, including Brazil and Mexico, as it became the recognized market leader in North and South America.

“I’m joining lululemon at an exciting time, with the brand’s strong business momentum, guest loyalty and passionate employees,” said McDonald. “I look forward to working with the talented team at lululemon to deliver long-term growth through great product, constant innovation, and serving guests however they choose to engage with us, today and into the future.”

Prior to joining Sephora in 2013, Mr. McDonald spent two years as president and CEO of Sears Canada. He also honed a broad range of retail and leadership skills during a 17-year period at Loblaw Companies Ltd., the largest retailer in Canada. Among his management roles at Loblaws, Mr. McDonald led a business unit with approximately 40,000 employees responsible for $15 billion in annual revenue and expanded the President’s Choice private label brand.

A triathlete, McDonald, 46, was born in Canada and earned an MBA from the University of Toronto, and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario.

McDonald will become a member of lululemon’s Board of Directors. Murphy returns to serving as non-executive Chairman of the Board and will ensure a smooth leadership transition. Celeste Burgoyne, Stuart Haselden and Sun Choe, who guided the day-to-day operations of lululemon since February will report to McDonald.

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