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Lululemon CEO Christine Day Quits, Founder Chip Wilson Launches Tell-All Book, Meditation Project

in Business of Yoga

whil-40000days-chip-wilson

It’s already been quite the year for the old lemon lulus. The see-through pantscapade really threw them for a loop. We hear the affected styles are making it back to shelves, and the lulus will survive, and still make a bazillion dollars, yadda yadda, but it appears Lululemon has taken a kick in the pants when it comes to profits, stocks and company morale.

And now CEO Christina Day is getting the hell out of there. It was announced earlier this week that Day (notoriously formerly of Starbucks) will step down after five and a half years. That just flew by, didn’t it?

Because of this, the company’s stock dropped about 18 percent from a high of $82.50. In trading terms, that kinda sucks.

Also cutting his losses is old Chip Wilson, lulu’s founder who resigned from his position last year amidst the Ayn Rand publicity nightmare and other series of scandals. Wilson, who remains lulu chairman, sold $50 million worth of stock just days before Day’s announcement and subsequent price drop, The Wall Street Journal reported. As in, he just banked an extra fifty million dollars.

Crap. With everyone jumping ship, who is going continue the crusade of  “conquering the epidemic of mediocrity” ?

(UPDATE: We’re still not sure who will take over, but opening standalone men’s stores by 2016 with $98 golf polos and $48 underwear will surely keep them pretty busy and most likely afloat.)

Don’t worry though, Chip has been staying quite busy and boy are we in for a treat, It’s All Yoga, Baby has reported. It’s called 40,000 Days and Then You’re Dead: The Story of Lululemon and it’s a tell-all book! Not only will it share all the deepest and darkest secrets about Chip’s journey in creating Lululemon, it will also tell you how many days you have left to live! (The website asks your birthday and then tells you how many days you have left to live. Don’t fret, by their calculations we’ll live til 108ish.)

The book is being launched on Wilson’s other pet project called whil, which we assume is a play on Wilson and your will to chase the dangling carrot into this rabbit hole. 40,000 Days will be released one chapter at a time each week. They’re already up to chapter three, so you’re late, and you’d better get with the program or you’ll be ostracized and forced to wear see-through pants while attending goal setting camp for the third time because you didn’t quite get it the first two times, did you?

whil

whil, on the other hand, is actually some “content portal” featuring a meditation method  - “the new face of meditation” if you, uh, will – devised by Chip, who has undoubtedly had some questionable philosophies in the past. The concept is to help people avoid burnout with simple ways to meditate, which sounds nice.

We appreciate the efforts, but holy John Galt, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t totally creeped out by Chip Wilson’s desire to get even deeper into our psyche. Surprisingly, there is no mention of Wilson’s long-held, lulu-adopting love for goal setting a la Landmark Forum, quite yet, though there is heavy hinting.

Here, you can watch the promo clip and decide for yourself:

Brrrr. Did you feel that? We just got the chills.

Oh, and then there’s this weird sycophant-y video featuring Chip groupies.

“Brilliant. Genius. Cult following. Visionary.”

Here come the willies again.

What do you think?

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Earlier

18 comments… add one

  • So…um….is it just me or does compressing meditation into a 60-second soundbytes kind of defeat the point? Call me crazy, but it feels like Whil is simply trying to squeeze in one.more.thing rather than creating space. I look to meditation to create stillness. And stillness, to me, is the space between cravings. My intention is to create a life with no cravings and no aversions (I know, a lofty task). I think Whil thinks we can have our cravings and eat them, too. In 60-seconds. How annoying.

  • EverPresent

    Well, let’s not be annoyed that is an aversion :) Another passing cloud. That is all that we see. The true stillness is the ever present sky as the ever present consciousness. When we rest in that all else is a play in consciousness and nothing to be bothered about. If in 60 seconds one can re-connect to the sky that is the backdrop to all else that is a good step. AUM.

  • Alexis

    That clip just stressed me out. Just sayin’…

  • I’m not sure what Yoga Dork thinks either. One minute you’re posting about celebrities and all kinds of beautiful, rich, white people and how wonderful it is that they’re all doing yoga and you don’t have to be a hippy to do yoga then here is are some more beautiful, rich white people(with one or two brown people thrown in for good measure) doing meditation and you’re against it. I think this is an issue with American yoga. We are trying to keep our American-ness while following an ancient Indian practice from 5000 years ago or more.

    We know we can’t practice Yoga in the same way that Indians practice it, because while the essential teachings reach out to our shared humanity, we are raised in a particular culture-a culture that values and encourages both a strong ego and a surrender of our ego to a leader(jesus-god-allah) that has the power to save us. So we end up with these weird hybrid spiritual practices that say “you can have it all” and are lead by some kind of deep pocketed guru that achieves rock star status telling us to live in the moment-while they are still climbing and achieving and playing the “saviour” role.

  • EverPresent

    Good point. Western psyche is quite different than the East. However let’s not through out the baby with the bath water. There are “leaders” that are the true deal and not the mainstream commercial or guru in a hermitage with deep pockets.
    I’ve experienced such. As a Westerner with a more Eastern orientation and mindset. I have had a “teacher” that is a rock star status but was the real thing and transformed my life. Through devotion and surrender. With no ill effects such as abuse of power. The journey is individual. The paths are many. As many as seekers. Let us not assume Jesus has nothing to offer because some insane split egoic minds took His teachings and made it a be “saved” or go to hell paradigm. We must see beyond the illusion of what the split mind of man has created out of the “Truth” that many true teachers taught. And not dismiss their teachings due to the interpretations that were set up out of egoic minds needing hierarchy and power. Truth is absolute. And can never be compartmentalized. Let us not fight against the compartmentalization by human minds but seek to sink deep into the experience of the bliss that even just dipping a toe into the vastness of Truth that many taught. Amen. AUM .

  • YD

    hi sarahjane,
    thank you for your thoughtful comment. though we’re kind of confused by the first part. this post has nothing to do with the color of skin (nor do the celebriyogi posts) or being against meditation. in fact, we work hard to expose injustices and celebrate the idea that yoga and meditation are for everyone no matter your shape, size, color, creed or ability. if that’s not overtly obvious, our apologies. but you might want to check out a few of our other posts.

  • Well put @sarahjane. The piece raised more questions for me than it answered…and that’s not really a bad thing!

  • vanessa

    I think Lululemon employees are one step away from burnout so if you do 60 seconds of meditation you whil just wash it all away. Come on! The other clip is just a bunch of bragging. Not very yogic either.

  • Semper Fi

    Most people who buy/wear Lululemon have the attention span of an ADHD patient, so a one minute meditation would probably be all they can handle.

  • Lala

    I have a strong, focused attention span and I can sit in meditation for a pretty long time. I wear Lululemon because I am hefty in the flank and leg. I know it’s just my vanity, but Lululemon provides a more flattering fit. It is vanity pure and simple. I like to look nice, even though I don’t have a tiny yoga body.

  • Semper Fi

    I’m sure Lulu is helping you lose plenty of weight…in your wallet.

  • Semper Fi

    A better meditation would be to have your life savings in Lululemon stock and hold it while it drops 18 points in one day.

  • Julie

    Music from the Psycho shower scene comes to mind after watching these videos.

  • JK

    I love the cold sore logo…get’s bigger.

  • DD

    I worked at La Lemon for about three months at their first store in NYC a few years back, AND I will never forget one Saturday morning, before the store opened, this crazy man wanting to come in the front the door. “Let me in, I’m Chip Wilson”. I said I didn’t know who he was and that I would get the manager, please wait…. It was Chip Wilson. OK, so I was all of three days new and didn’t know Chip Wilson from Adam. I lasted four months and then quit. Horrible company to work for. The image that their marketing puts out is brilliant, but then when you get in there as an employee and the reality of Lulu Lemon as a work place sinks in…. really twisted. And at that time from an HR perspective….so many bad practices. Something all together from another planet than the image they project. And then all that Landmark speak. Ugh. Might as well be Scientology. I wonder if any of their managers have taken them to court over their requirement that they attend Landmark seminars. Quite illegal to do that in the U.S. it seems to me. So happy to have gotten away from that Luon scented mess – still having night mares of the pants wall (oh, and Luon is so very much Polyester).

  • arlet

    whil?! wow. I am super interested to see where this goes. chip wilson obviously has to secret (and tons of years of experience) to successful businesses.. but I’m skeptical! http://extendyoga.com

  • I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for great information I was looking for
    this info for my mission.

  • I may have missed mention of this, but early marketing attempts for Whil used quotes from celebrities about Transcendental Meditation ™ as though the celebrity were endorsing the Whil product.

    There are so many places Chip Wilson’s ethical compass goes magnetically wonky, it’s hard to keep up.

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