It was bad enough that Lululemon(LULU) was forced to recall 17% of its women's pants in March due to an unacceptable "level of sheerness." But when you have a faulty product, it's usually best not to imply your customers are too fat to wear them.
That's essentially what co-founder Chip Wilson did. Lululemon had worked to get new pants on the shelves quickly after the recall, but customers complained about excessive pilling, particularly in the thighs. So in a November interview, Bloomberg Television's Trish Regan asked Chip and Shannon Wilson about the issues.
Chip had a simple answer: "Some women's bodies just don't work for it."
"They don't work for the pants?" Regan replied incredulously.
A clearly discomfited Shannon jumped in to explain that extenuating circumstances like "sitting on a cement ground" might damage the pants. She shot Chip a sidelong glance, which he seemed to ignore. Chip later apologized for the comments and announced in December that he's stepping down as company chairman. - J.P.