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Lululemon CEO blames IBM for site outage, says it's looking at other options

Jordan Novet

Athletic apparel maker Lululemon (LULU) CEO Laurent Potdevin blamed IBM (IBM) for an outage of the company's website last month in an interview with CNBC on Thursday.

Some of Lululemon's sales happen via its website, which relies on IBM's managed hosting service. The site went down midday on May 22 and came back online about 20 hours later.

"I talked to Ginni [Rometty, IBM's CEO]; our team was up 36 hours straight," Potdevin told CNBC. "We're not satisfied with what happened. We're looking at our options."

Non-IBM public clouds include Amazon (AMZN) Web Services, Microsoft (MSFT) Azure and Alphabet (GOOGL)'s Google Cloud Platform. Lululemon could also opt to set up its own data center infrastructure and reduce its dependency on third-party computing resources. IBM's cloud customers include Citi, the U.S. Interior Department, Macy's and Whirlpool.

In the past two years, Lululemon has taken steps to boost its digital operations, Potdevin told financial analysts on the company's quarterly earnings call.

The outage won't affect sales for the company's current quarter, which will end in July, Potdevin told CNBC.

-- Laurent Potdevin was interviewed by CNBC's Sara Eisen.



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