Since his appointment as chief executive of Lululemon Athletica in 2014, Potdevin has reinvigorated the yoga and leisure apparel retailer, benefitting from the growing athleisure movement after two years of slow growth.
After earning an engineering degree, Potdevin went through Paris’ ESSEC Business School, joining Louis Vuitton in the early 1990s, and soon becoming director of North American operations. In 1995, he was recruited by Vermont-based snowboarding company Burton, where he remained for 15 years as chief executive. He joined the socially-minded company Toms in 2011 as director, settling in Santa Monica, California.
In December 2013, Potdevin replaced Christine M. Day as chief executive of Lululemon, drawn to the challenges and opportunities the company presented.
Under his leadership, Lululemon returned to profit following a product hitch in 2013 that saw the company’s stock tumbling. Potdevin spearheaded the relaunch of its website, and reorganised leggings in stores according to feel. Net revenue increased by 14 percent in 2016 as a result of streamlined supply chains.
The company’s current plans include doubling sales to $4 billion by 2020, earning 40 percent of its business from male shoppers, and expanding internationally.
“When we look at the brand, the people, the product, the global opportunity, the sky is the limit. We have a massive men's business ahead of us. We can grow multiple categories,” he said.