Lululemon Athletica Inc. is losing its creative director and senior vice president Lee Holman, who is leaving for “personal reasons.”
Holman is credited with bringing a stronger design focus to Lululemon, which has seen steady sales gains over the last several years. He joined the company in 2014, after holding senior design positions with the likes of Nike Inc. and Burberry, and took up the creative director role the following year, overseeing women’s and men’s collections.
Chief executive officer Laurent Potdevin said as much in a statement on Holman’s exit, adding: “We’ve returned to being a design-led organization fueled by innovation, at the intersection of function and fashion. We are thankful for Lee’s contribution during this journey.”
Holman will remain at Lululemon until the end of December.
Potdevin did not say who would be replacing Holman, but it seems that internal candidates are being considered after the ceo alluded to Lululemon’s “deep bench strength across the product organization.”
A company spokeswoman declined to comment further.
Wall Street seemed unfazed by the change-up and Lululemon’s shares ticked up by nearly 4 percent to $64.01.
Lululemon is expected to reveal its third-quarter results early next month, but Potdevin took the opportunity to cite the “momentum in our business as we enter the holiday season.”
When Holman came to the leadership role almost exactly two years ago, it was part of a broader executive-level reshuffling focused on part on unifying the creative parts of the business under a single leader.
Since then, Lululemon rolled out a number of design-led initiatives, like last year’s collaboration with textile artist Janaïna Milheiro, and a Holman filled out his team, hiring design and merchandising heads from Theory and Marc Jacobs.
Ben Stubbington joined Lululemon last year and will continue to head up design for men’s after Holman departs, but the company is still searching for a senior vice president of design for women’s.
Lululemon lately seems increasingly focused on its bottom line and efforts to boost profits, which fell 10 percent in the second quarter on a yearly basis, have been clear. The company earlier this year decided to close nearly all of its Ivivva girl’s brand store locations and refocus the segment online, a decision that is projected to cost $60 million this year.
It’s also looking to sales in China, with its own stores and Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace, to aid the brand’s continued growth, as well as the further development of its men’s line. Potdevin said in August that Lululemon’s men’s segment was the company’s “best kept secret,” with the power to become a $1 billion business.
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