Lululemon hires ex-Kmart executive for global merchandising role

Reuters

TORONTO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Yogawear maker LululemonAthletica Inc on Wednesday named a former executive ofSears Holdings Corp to oversee its global merchandisingand design, but offered no clue on who will become its nextchief executive.

Lululemon's previous chief product officer left in Aprilafter the company recalled black yoga pants because they wereoverly sheer, and in June it said that Chief Executive ChristineDay would leave as soon as a successor was on board.

The company named Tara Poseley, a yoga fan and a 25-yearindustry veteran who most recently was president of Sears' KmartApparel division, as chief product officer. Poseley also spent15 years with Gap Inc

"A highly reliable industry source, who is a tough grader,informs us that Poseley is 'very good,' and we therefore viewher joining the company as a positive for Lulu," Faye Landes, ananalyst with Cowen and Co, said in a client note.

Vancouver-based Lululemon carved out a niche for premiumyoga wear and built up a passionate clientele that has helpedthe company regularly achieve quarterly sales growth of morethan 20 percent.

But it suffered its biggest stumble when it was forced topull yoga pants made with its signature black Luon fabric offstore shelves, a recall that is likely to dent 2013 sales by $57million to $67 million.

Lululemon shares were down 3.2 percent at $70.91 on theNasdaq. At least one analyst said he had expected a CEOannouncement to come at the same time as the appointment of achief product officer.

When Lululemon's previous chief product officer, ShereeWaterson, left in early April, the company split her job in two,hiring industry veteran, Jennifer Battersby as senior vicepresident of sourcing. ID:nL2N0CQ24Y]

The effects of the pants recall are still being felt, withtougher quality controls causing delays that forced Lulu tolower its 2013 fiscal full-year outlook.

Steve Berube was hired this summer for the newly createdposition of senior vice president of global distribution andlogistics.

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