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Chip Wilson Slides Back Into Winter

by The Editors on December 9, 2018

Billionaire Westbeach co-founder Chip Wilson (his other little start-up was Lululemon Athletica) has joined forces with Chinese sportswear giant Anta Sports Products Ltd and some others to purchase Finland based Amer Sport, owners of Salomon, AtomicArc’Teryx, Suunto, Mavic, Percor, and Wilson for $5.2 billion, according to a story on Bloomberg.

The consortium, which includes Chinese buyout firm FountainVest Partners, will offer shareholders of Finland’s Amer Sports Oyj 40 euros a share in cash, or about 4.6 billion euros. The deal is the largest struck by a Chinese acquirer for a European asset since China Investment Corp. agreed to buy Logicor Europe for almost $14 billion in June 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Guess Chip just couldn’t stay away from the snow any longer.

[Link: Bloomberg]

 

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Chip Wilson’s Dreams Of Leaving

by The Editors on February 3, 2015

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It’s been a pretty big media week for Westbeach and Lululemon founder Chip Wilson. First, he was featured in the Talk of the Town section of The New Yorker magazine regarding the launch of his wife and son’s new clothing line (and retail stores) Kit & Ace, and then yesterday (February 2, 2015) he was profiled in The New York Times.

More than once, the way Wilson spoke reminded me of the airhead fashion model Ben Stiller plays in “Zoolander.” But for all his off-putting and impolitic utterances (in a blog post about Lululemon’s origins, he infamously linked the use of birth control to rising divorce rates, and claimed this led to his future market), he has a kind of genius for forecasting trends and assessing the human impulses — vanity, insecurity, the yearning for perfection — that make people pay more for something they could buy much cheaper elsewhere.

Yep, the same old Chip we remember from back in the snowboard days. It’s good to see someone stick to their opinions and become action sports single most successful billionaire at the same time. There are lessons to be learned here somewhere.

[Link: The New Yorker & New York Times]

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Chip Wilson’s War On Technological Burnout

by The Editors on June 4, 2013

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Westbeach (and more famously Lululemon) founder Chip Wilson has posted his latest creative endeavor online at his new site Whil.com. The site is Chip and his wife Shannon’s “global conversation about the power of accessible and everyday meditation.” Or as Chip explains it: “Meditation – specifically the 60-second meditation we prescribe with Whil – is about avoiding technological burnout by “getting present,” being mindful and living in the moment.”

Apparently, being worth $2.9 billion gives one the time (and reason) to reflect a little and, you know, get centered. It also likely gives one the narcissistic impetus to write an autobiography. And that is exactly what Chip has posted. It’s the story of Lululemon as told by Chip and it’s titled 40,000 Days And Then You’re Dead.

40,000 Days (or however many days you have left after signing in) is an intimate, personal look into the life and business of a passionate entrepreneur. It is well worth reading for anyone who has ever worn a Westbeach snow kit, or gazed spellbound at a tight, suburban, mom ass lightly poured into a pair of yoga pants. It’s also not a bad read for anyone whose ever wondered what it must be like to carry around a wallet the size of the Northwest Territories.

And remember, Chip Wilson is not only one bad-ass swing dancer, he is also action sport’s single biggest success story EVER. Now click the link, read the book, and get started on your first billion.

[Link: 40,000 Days]

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Chip Wilson: Most Successful Shop Owner Ever

by The Editors on February 8, 2012

6108973.BinWestbeach Snowboard Shop and outerwear founder Chip Wilson (who is much more famous for founding Lululemon Athletica) has been named Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, according to a story in the Times Colonist.

“Chip Wilson exemplifies the values of a visionary entrepreneur,” Peter Gustavson, founder and chair of the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award committee, said in a statement Monday. “He turned a passion for health and fitness into a world-wide movement and has inspired countless others through his unique outlook and commitment to quality. His values permeate everything he does.”

Wilson, who reportedly left his position as chief innovation and branding officer for Lululemon on Janaury 29, 2012, is staying on as chairman of the board. And, if Canadian Business magazine is correct, Wilson is the most successful snowboard shop owner ever with a current net worth of about $2.85 billion. Damn, shredder. That’s big dollars.

[Link: Time Colonist and Canadian Business]

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Chip Wilson And the Cult Of Yoga

by The Editors on August 13, 2008

Chip WilsonEver wonder what happened to Westbeach founder Chip Wilson? No? Well, as many will tell you he left the snowboard industry that was littered with sweaty men 11 years ago and went after an industry loaded with sweaty, hot women: Yoga.

Now, Chip’s yoga clothing company Lululemon Athletica has 80 retail stores across Canada and the US and is valued at US$2.3 billion, according to a story in The Montreal Gazette.

To what does he attribute all this success? The Landmark Education Corp. a.k.a. The Forum.

Wilson believes his pursuit of mega-material success has made the world a better place by popularizing yoga and by helping Lululemon staff and others take courses offered by the controversial Landmark Education Corp., the motivational education company developed by people connected to Erhard Seminars Training (est).

Hey, if joining something the French government has classified as a “cult” brings this much success, maybe we should have listened when our lawyers suggested we attend.

[Link: The Montreal Gazette]

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Investors Call Potdevin “Dumpy”

by The Editors on April 23, 2014

Lululemon1You may remember Laurent Potdevin. A while ago he was the President of Burton Snowboards. He did that job for five years then went on to be the CEO of Toms Shoes. Most recently, Mr. Potdevin was named CEO of Lululemon (the yoga pants company started by Westbeach founder Chip Wilson). Things at the suburban mom shaping factory haven’t been going that well for Mr. Potdevin and some investors feel that has to do with Laurent’s pot belly, according to a story in the NY Post.

Meanwhile, some investors who attended the meeting said they were surprised to see that Potdevin, in his first major public appearance since he took the helm in January, didn’t exactly look the part of a fitness mogul. . . “He was kind of … dumpy,” one shareholder said, noting that Potdevin wore baggy clothes with an untucked shirt that failed to hide a bulging stomach . . “If he’s a competent leader, he’s a competent leader,” another investor said. “But you’ve got to ask whether this guy is really in touch with the mind-set of his core customer in the athletic space.”

Make a presentation on a bad day and the stock falls five percent. Being the CEO of a publicly traded company must be really fun.

[Link: NY Post]

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Billabong’s RVCA, Dakine Worth $100 Million?

by The Editors on June 5, 2013

rvca-logo-tm.jpgNow that the complete take over of Billabong is off the table analysts are going over what they think the pieces of Billabong are worth.

Citi’s Craig Woolford, believes RVCA and Dakine could be sold for $110 million combined, according to a story in The Australian.

Billabong bought RVCA, which founder Pat Tenore established in 2001 in his garage, in 2010 for an undisclosed amount, saying it would contribute 2 per cent of the retailer’s total revenue. RVCA’s brand advocates include jiu-jitsu athletes like Rafa Mendes, musician Josh Harmony, surfer Christian Fletcher and skateboarder Mark Suciu. . . Billabong bought DaKine in 2008, 29 years after it was founded in Hawaii, for $US100m. It sponsors athletes in skiing, surfing, skating, windsurfing, kiteboarding and mountain biking.

It wouldn’t pay off Billabong’s $279 million debt, but it would be a step in the right direction. And when you think about it. Why buy all of Billabong’s debt when you can just scoop up a few of their better brands for next to nothing? Anyone have $110 million lying around? Hey, maybe Chip Wilson can help. . .

[Link: The Australian]

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