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Lululemon Taps Tara Poseley as Product Officer

In her new role, Poseley will oversee the brand's global design strategy, working with the senior vice presidents of women’s and men’s design.

Lululemon Athletica on Tuesday named Tara Poseley chief product officer.

Poseley, who most recently was president of the multichannel, multicategory Kmart apparel business, will be responsible for merchandising, inventory, allocation and strategic planning. In her new role, Poseley will oversee Lululemon’s global design strategy, working with the senior vice presidents of women’s and men’s design. She will report to Christine Day, Lululemon’s chief executive officer. Day plans to step down as ceo and leave the retailer as soon as a successor can be found.

Lululemon split the position of chief product officer into two jobs earlier this year. The other responsibilities are being handled by Poseley’s counterpart, Jennifer Battersby, senior vice president of sourcing. “As a growing and more global organization, we needed to expand and bolster product operations,” a spokeswoman said. “The Luon were a symptom of that area not being as strong as it had to be,” she said, referring to the black yoga pants that were recalled in March because they were too sheer, forcing the company to take a significant financial writedown.

In her 25-year career, Poseley has run men’s, women’s, accessories, kid’s and intimate apparel businesses as an executive at Bebe Stores, Disney Stores North America and Design Within Reach.

“The multichannel agenda at Lululemon is so strong,” Poseley said. “I’ll be upgrading the site and experience and social and digital channels. Lululemon has a good intimate apparel business. They have Ivivva, a girl’s brand. I’m excited about the global expansion. I’m looking to bring expertise on assorting different areas of [North America] and new countries we’re going into.”

Lululemon’s first store in London will open in 2014. The brand connects with local communities through showrooms, which it opens as a precursor to stores. There are showrooms in the U.K. and units in the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and, soon, Shanghai. The showrooms operate for 18 to 36 months and then can be replaced by stores.