Mirror founder Brian Putnam steps down as CEO, says Lululemon

Mirror founder Brian Putnam steps down as CEO, says Lululemon

Brian Putnam is stepping down as chief executive of connected fitness company Mirror, which is owned by Lululemon, CNBC has learned.

Poonam, a former professional ballet dancer, founded Mirror in 2016. She will continue to advise Mirror until next July, as the company searches for her successor Putnam, as well as Lululemon chief executive Calvin McDonald, said in a statement. note to employees. . was obtained by CNBC.

With immediate effect, Mirror chose three of its leaders to serve as co-leaders: Tess Hales, Head of Customer; Olivia Lange, Head of Operations; and Christie D’Ambrosio-Corel, Chief Technology Officer. They will all report to McDonald’s.

In the memo, Putnam and McDonald’s said it was time for the company to “find the right candidates to drive the next phase of brand development.” Lululemon declined to provide further details.

Last year, Lululemon acquired Mirror for $ 500 million, hoping to capitalize on feverish demand for home exercise equipment during the COVID pandemic. Mirror’s wall-mounted equipment costs $ 1,495, and users pay a monthly fee to stream on-demand fitness classes ranging from yoga flow to kickboxing.

Lululemon had already invested around $ 1 million in Mirror by mid-2019.

Since the acquisition, the clothing retailer has added Mirror Shop-in-Shop to its nearly 150 stores. He aims to increase that number to 200 by the holidays.

But Lululemon needs to invest more money in the mirror market, which is in an increasingly competitive space. Consumers return to the gym. And its competitors, including Peloton, Tonal and Hydro, among others, are constantly trying to improve their offerings. New investments are also arriving in this category. For example, Hydro announced on Tuesday that it has finalized the funding renewal with celebrity backers Lizzo and Justin Timberlake.

Lululemon’s McDonald’s told analysts on a conference call earlier this month that there was still “low awareness” among many consumers in the Mirror. And the cost of digital marketing is increasing, he said, making it more expensive for a business to acquire new members.

Peloton ranked as the most viewed online and connected fitness platform in August, according to Wall Street research firm Jefferies. The bike maker is also increasing its marketing spending, as visits to fitness centers become commonplace in the summer. Earlier this month, Jefferies found that gym visits in the United States were at about 90% of January 2020 levels, and down just 1% from the same period in 2019.

Lululemon does not break down Mirror sales on a quarterly basis, but the company said in June that Mirror is on track to generate between $ 250 million and $ 275 million in revenue in 2021. Mirror is expected to debut in Canada in the next year. weeks to come.

Lululemon shares are up about 22% year-to-date. The company’s market capitalization is approximately $ 53 billion.

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