Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson Has Taken a Backseat But He's Still a Big Stakeholder

Chip Wilson, founder and former CEO of Lululemon Athletica, is no longer on its board but retains shares of the company.

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Dec. 11 2020, Updated 10:16 a.m. ET

Source: Getty

Yoga teacher wearing Lululemon brand

 Dennis “Chip” Wilson is the billionaire founder of Lululemon, a Canadian-based yoga and athletic apparel company. He served as the company’s CEO for eight years and then took the job of chairman until 2013.  

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Wilson resigned from the chairman position and retained ownership of a considerable percentage of Lululemon stock. The company also ruled to remove Wilson’s right to appoint anyone to board leadership.  

Regarding a potential return to the Lululemon board, Wilson said in a 2018 interview with Forbes that he was not an “antagonist” and wasn’t concerned about making money. “I want to be a contributor to add value.”  

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original lulemon store
Source: lululemon

History of Lululemon: when did it start?

 Lululemon began as a line of yoga-inspired technical athletic apparel in 1998. Founder Chip Wilson started the company in Vancouver, Canada with a combination design studio and yoga studio. In November 2000, the first Lululemon store opened in Vancouver.  

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The clothing range for Lululemon has grown to include apparel for all types of sporting activities including running, cycling, and other forms of athletic training. Wilson came under scrutiny in 2013 for his comment that “some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” to fit the Lululemon brand of apparel.  

Who is Chip Wilson’s wife?

Chip Wilson is married with five children. His wife Shannon Wilson and oldest son J.J. Wilson founded Kit and Ace, a luxury bike wear company, in 2014. They are no longer involved with the Kit and Ace brand.  

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What is Chip Wilson’s net worth?

As of December 2020, Forbes magazine estimated Chip Wilson’s net worth at $6 billion. This puts him at No. 616 on the Forbes Billionaires 2020 List. He has no public role with Lululemon today, but remains its largest individual shareholder. 

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Wilson is the executive director of Hold It All, the family holding company that contains the assets of himself, his wife, and his five children. It includes investments in real estate, apparel, and private equity.  

Forbes reported that in 2017, his charity, the Wilson 5 Foundation, gave out close to $2.9 million. $2 million of that amount went to funds at Vancouver College.

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Who owns Lululemon now?

Lululemon Athletica (LULU) began trading publicly on the stock market in 2007. Its most recent quarterly results included sales of $1.1 billion, or an increase of 22 percent from one year ago. North American revenue grew by 19 percent as well, according to CNBC

Calvin McDonald is the current CEO, and Meghan Frank has been named CFO of the company as of November 2020.

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It is a top competitor in the athletic-wear market today, alongside Nike, UnderArmour, and Hanesbrands. The top two institutional owners of Lululemon are Fidelity, with a 14.92 percent stake, and The Vanguard Group, with 8.11 percent ownership (via CNN Business). 

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Where Lululemon clothes are made

Lululemon doesn’t own any of its own manufacturing facilities. Instead, like many apparel companies, it sources its fabrics and products from 26 countries around the globe, including the U.S. 

Lululemon claims to be working to reduce environmental impacts of its supply chain. It states that it encourages its manufacturing partners to employ safe working conditions for its employees around the world.  


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