CEO taken down by yoga pants?

Lululemon CEO Christine Day Is Stepping Down

Lululemon Athletica

Lululemon Athletica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many different ways a CEO can lose his or her job, and in this case it looks like quality control was the driving issue (the retailer had to recall 17% of its black luon yoga pants for being too sheer). I don’t know Christine Day, but based upon Lululemon’s stock performance over her tenure she did an outstanding job. Unfortunately for CEOs, it is a “what have you done for me lately?” type of job.

As I often mention, one of the key roles of the CEO is to look out into the future and anticipate problems before they have a big effect on the company. The quality of your product is key to everything else you do as a business. If you are a product company, you should make sure there are good systems in place to detect quality issues before they reach the customers. Also, there should be an easy way to get data back from customers so problems can be identified and acted upon quickly.

While many product companies outsource the majority of their manufacturing, that doesn’t mean they can outsource their quality control. Trust but verify is the motto here.  


  1. Absolutely agree about the CEO’s responsibility for quality, but what a bummer way to leave. The upside: some other company’s going to get a very good CEO who will be a fanatic about quality now along with her other excellent management skills.

  2. Yesterday you said a good CEO promotes transparency and now you’re saying it’ll get you fired?

  3. This definitely points to ensuring you have the right people in key roles. A CEO can’t micromanage all aspects of a company, there has to be a level of trust in the people they have in place. That’s easy to say of course, having no context. Maybe this was a case of someone saying “yes” instead of asking “why?”.


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