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Lululemon Seeks New CEO, Posts Quirky Ad

Lisa Scherzer
Personal Finance Editor
The Exchange

If you’re a strong leader, long-term thinker, can hold a headstand for at least 10 minutes and speak Sanskrit, Lululemon (LULU) might have a job for you.

The yoga apparel maker, which on Monday announced CEO Christine Day would step down, has begun its search for a new chief – and it’s starting with its own customers. Visitors to Lululemon’s site, who might want to do nothing but shop for $100 sweatpants, are being greeted with a big red sign that reads “CEO Wanted,” which links to the company’s tongue-in-cheek job posting and an “apply” button. (See an image of the ad below.)

A typical “day in the life” of the CEO includes “You break all the rules like getting your OM-on (loudly) whenever the urge arises,” and “you wear The Mansy to lead our company-wide morning chant” (click here if you dare to find out what a Mansy is). Some other criteria for the position: You have Ellen DeGeneres on speed-dial and "Your lineage is directly related to Phidippides" (we had to look it up: he was the first marathoner).

Day's exit follows the recall of the company's signature “luon” yoga pants in March; they were too sheer. That debacle led to the departure of its chief product officer, Sheree Waterson. The pants are now back on shelves after the company fixed the problem in early June.

Day told an investor conference on Thursday that the yogawear firm has begun searching for its new leader. "I want to give you that assurance that morale is high, that we're connected, and the reality is, I'm coming back to work on Monday," she said. "And I'm there until the next CEO is in place. So it is business as usual for us at Lululemon." The stock is down about 19% since market close Monday, when the company also announced earnings that beat expectations.

Given Lululemon’s reputation as a cultish brand whose pricey clothes are worn by well-toned yogis and non-exercising types alike, the quirky post isn’t too surprising. (Lululemon shopping bags are covered in aphorisms meant to be inspiring, such as “Do one thing a day that scares you” and “Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.”)

The company certainly wants to get the word out. It posted the CEO ad on its Facebook page and tweeted "CEO wanted. Click here to apply." A flurry of Facebook users posted complaints about the quality of the Vancouver-based company’s clothing: "The quality has significantly deteriorated! Stop cutting corners. [You need] someone who maintains the quality of your brand! That's what built your empire!”

Lululemon didn’t respond to a request for comment.