Lululemon Athletica executives have assumed the fierce and warrior poses—but they’re not practicing yoga.
A squabble among leadership at the yoga apparel maker, in which the company’s founder and biggest shareholder voted against the new chairman and another director, was described by CEO Laurent Potdevin on Thursday as “our parents are fighting, and it’s awkward.”
Chip Wilson, who remains on the board and owns a 27 percent stake in the company, said he had voted not to elect its new chairman, Michael Casey, or director RoAnn Costin. Wilson thinks both executives are too focused on short-term growth.
To investor Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group, the dispute is yet another setback for both the company and its stock.
“When you have a board talking about one thing, you have a company undergoing tremendous change, in terms of becoming a bigger business and they probably grew faster than their scale, it is disruptive,” Telsey said on “Squawk on the Street.” “And having that calm down, getting the management team all on the same page with the board is going to be essential over the next few months.”
Lululemon is getting through product from its old design team, and spending money on traffic-driving initiatives—but it will take time to turn things around, Telsey said.
“It’s a work in progress. It’s not the same Lulu that it was a year ago or two years ago,” she noted.
Lululemon shares dropped to a more-than three-year low on Thursday after the retailer reduced its revenue and earnings forecast for the fiscal year. It also announced its chief financial officer would retire early next year.
Telsey said she doesn’t see any upside for the stock in the next 12 months. She recommends investors buy and hold Lulu for the long term, or nothing at all.
Disclosure: When this story was published, Telsey owned Lululemon Athletica.