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Sephora’s top U.S. exec to head up Lululemon

Lululemon Athletica Inc. has ended its search for a chief executive — a hunt it initiated in February after its existing chief abruptly resigned for falling short of the company’s “standards of conduct.”

The yoga wear and lifestyle athletic apparel retailer announced it has appointed Calvin McDonald as CEO, effective Aug. 20. He will also become a member of the board. McDonald comes to Lululemon after spending five years as president and CEO of Americas for Sephora, the fast-growing beauty brand that is owned by luxury powerhouse LVMH. Under his leadership, Sephora delivered double-digit growth year after year, expanded its product offerings, created new digital platforms and store experiences, and expanded in global markets, including Brazil and Mexico.

Prior to joining Sephora in 2013, McDonald spent two years as president and CEO of Sears Canada. He also spent 17 years at Loblaw Companies Ltd., the largest retailer in Canada.

In February, Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin resigned amid allegations of behavior misconduct. The company named chairman Glen Murphy as executive chairman while it searched for a new chief executive. Murphy, founder and CEO of FIS Holdings investment firm, served as chairman and CEO of Gap Inc. from 2007 to 2014. With the appointment of McDonald, Murphy will return to serving in the role of nonexecutive chairman.

“Calvin McDonald has an impressive track record leading organizations through periods of significant growth and innovation,” said Murphy. “He is the ideal match for the Lululemon brand and culture given his strong consumer mindset, performance-driven approach, and success developing people.”

McDonald, 46, was born and educated in Canada. He is a triathlete.

“I’m joining Lululemon at an exciting time, with the brand’s strong business momentum, guest loyalty and passionate employees,” McDonald said. “I look forward to working with the talented team at Lululemon to deliver long-term growth through great product, constant innovation, and serving guests however they choose to engage with us, today and into the future.”
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