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Founder opposes reelection of 2 to Lululemon board

June 11, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — The founder of yoga clothing company Lululemon said Wednesday that he voted against the re-election of outside directors to the retailer’s board.

Chip Wilson said in a statement that he is “concerned that the board is not aligned with the core values of product and innovation on which Lululemon was founded and on which the company thrived.”

Wilson said he was asked by Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s board last year to come back from Australia — where he had been living — to help the company deal with a product recall. Last spring Lululemon pulled one of its popular yoga pants from stores because they were too sheer, which it blamed on a style change and production issues. Fixing the problem cost the company millions and made investors question quality control.

Wilson, who has a 27 percent stake in the Canadian company, said that he believes board changes are needed to help increase shareholder value. He voted against re-electing Michael Casey and RoAnn Costin.

Casey is a former Starbucks Corp. executive who became Lululemon’s chairman after Wilson resigned from the post. Wilson resigned after comments he made publicly suggested that the larger bodies of some consumers were to blame for other quality issues of the company’s yoga pants.

Costin is president of private equity firm Reservoir Capital Management Inc.

U.S. shares of Lululemon fell $1.18, or 2.6 percent, to $44.30 in afternoon trading Wednesday. Its shares have fallen 9 percent over the past three months.

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