With CEO job ad, Lululemon shows its cheeky sense of humor


Chief Executive Christine Day will be leaving the Lululemon job. BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Last week, athletic apparel maker and sheer pants recaller Lululemon said its CEO, Christine Day, would be stepping down. In the announcement, the board said it would be taking the usual steps of forming a search committee and enacting Lululemon's CEO succession plan. (The company says Day's departure has nothing to do with those pants. And Wall Street, which punished the company's shares after the news that Day would step down, seemed to agree.)

But then late last week, the company  did something highly unusual: It put a spoof add for the CEO job on its Web site, describing the ideal candidate as someone who is "disciplined, focused and can hold a headstand for at least 10 minutes," someone who "hit[s] up wheatgrass and tequila shots" on Friday afternoons and can "communicate powerfully, often through Sanskrit." The job description read as follows: "you report to no one, you are the CEO (duh). You are passionate about doing chief executive officer type stuff like making decisions, having a vision and being the head boss person." Oh, and it would be a good thing if you voted for Pedro.

The cheeky ad, which the company promoted on Facebook, was an example of how Lululemon has "always been a fun and irreverent brand...not afraid to spark a conversation in our communities," according to a spokesperson quoted on CNN Money. The ad did just that, drawing hundreds of "likes" and comments on Facebook and more than 160 actual applications for the job before it was taken down Monday. Who knows whether any of those might be realistic candidates. But one thing's for sure: The hilarious P.R. stunt certainly helped generate plenty of real publicity.

Jena McGregor is a columnist for On Leadership.

Read also:

In Lululemon’s sheer drama, a fashion wakeup call about yoga pants

The great Lululemon pants panic

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Jena McGregor writes a daily column analyzing leadership in the news for the Washington Post’s On Leadership section.
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Jena McGregor | June 17, 2013