5. Lululemon CEO Christine Day (and founder/chairman Chip Wilson)
Companies make mistakes. Luckily, most of them are forgivable. But it’s pretty tough for the public — consumers as well as investors — to forgive a mistake or two when that company then gets a bit indignant about it, ultimately blaming its customers.
Enter Christine Day — former CEO of Lululemon (LULU) — and Chip Wilson — former chairman of LULU.
In March, consumers cried foul when they realized that some Lululemon yoga pants were a tad transparent. The snafu ultimately led to a wave of bigger quality control concerns, which in turn led to the resignation of Day.
Chip Wilson made things even worse for LULU, though. Just a few months after the Lululemon CEO stepped down (sending LULU stock falling off a cliff), Wilson opined on Bloomberg TV that “quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it (Lululemon pants).”
All but calling some of your customers “fat” at a point when you can afford no bad publicity at all was hardly a smart move, and Wilson announced his resignation a few days after the gaffe. Unfortunately, new management likely won’t erase the double dose of damage that both Christine Day and Chip Wilson caused Lululemon this year.