Chip Wilson

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Chip Wilson
Chip Wilson, 2012
Born Dennis J. Wilson
(1956-03-03) March 3, 1956 (age 58)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Alma mater University of Calgary (B.A.)
Occupation Founder of Lululemon Athletica
Spouse(s) Shannon Wilson

Dennis J. "Chip" Wilson (born c. March 3, 1956) is a Canadian businessman and philanthropist who has founded several retail apparel companies, most notably yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica Inc. (TSX: LLL, NASDAQ: LULU), commonly referred to as lululemon.[1]

Business Ventures[edit]

In 1979 Wilson founded his first retail apparel company, Westbeach Snowboard Ltd., which sold apparel targeted at the surf, skate, and snowboard markets. Wilson went on to sell Westbeach in 1997 and founded Lululemon Athletica Inc. in 1998.[2]

Wilson served as CEO of lululemon until 2005, when he sold a 48% minority stake in lululemon to private equity firms Advent International and Highland Capital Partners.[3] In 2007 an initial IPO was offered by Lululemon Athletica Inc. on Canadian and US exchanges.[4] In January 2012, Wilson retired from his executive post as chief innovation and branding officer but remains chairman of the board of directors.[5] In December 2013, Wilson stepped down from his role as non-executive chairman.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Calgary in 1980.[7] He has five sons and is married to Shannon Wilson, the original designer and interim CEO of lululemon. They reside in Vancouver, B.C.

In 2004 Ernst & Young named Wilson as "Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year for Innovation and Marketing".[8] As of 2012 Forbes ranked Wilson as the 10th wealthiest Canadian and 401st in the world, with an estimated net worth as of March 2013 of $2.9 billion.[9]


In 2007 Wilson, along with his wife Shannon Wilson, launched imagine1day, a charity dedicated to improving education conditions in Ethiopia. The organization’s goal is that all Ethiopians have access to quality education funded free of foreign aid by 2030.[10]


In 2013 Wilson, along with his wife Shannon Wilson, created Whil, a 60 second mediation technique designed to help us all hit the reset button and cope with technostress before we burnout. There are three steps: 1) Power Down: Close your eyes. Take two deep breaths. Visualize a simple dot and float through it. 2) Power Up: Get serious and commit to something. Set a time and cement it in. 3) Power Forward: Take a breath. Open your eyes wide and go.[11]

Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design[edit]

The Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University [12] is a $36 million project. Chip and Shannon Wilson pledged $12 million [13] to the School with the goal of solidifying the future of BC’s technical apparel industry. Lululemon, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and the Province of British Columbia serve as additional financial partners. The school broke ground in Fall 2013 and will include new teaching studios, gallery space for student exhibitions and a “usability lab” where students can design, prototype, and market product concepts. The school is scheduled to open in 2015 and is expected to increase the overall number of design students by 57 percent.[14]

Child Run[edit]

Chip and Shannon Wilson are leading sponsors of the annual Child Run. The Child Run is the largest family fun run in Vancouver, with a 5K for runners and walkers on a scenic route through Queen Elizabeth Park and a 1K fun run, followed by a carnival celebration. Proceeds support British Columbia's Children's Hospital and their fight against childhood cancer. This year, 2014, the run had over 6,000 participants and raised over $1 million.[15]


Stephen Colbert mention[edit]

Wilson was the subject of the TV show, Stephen Colbert's segment "Alpha Dog of the Week", on November 18, 2013, where Mr. Colbert sarcastically criticized the CEO for his views on birth control, racism, and recent comments, stating that some women's bodies "just actually don't work" for his company's pants.[16]


  1. ^ "Forbes: Chip Wilson". Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  2. ^ "Chip Wilson’s Design Made Lululemon A Winner". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  3. ^ "Lululemon founder Chip Wilson steps down from management, will stay on board". The Star (Toronto). 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Lululemon tries IPO on for size". Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Lululemon founder Chip Wilson steps down from management, will stay on board". The Star (Toronto). 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  6. ^ Rohit T. K. and Chris Peters (6 December 2013). "Lululemon names new CEO; founder Chip Wilson to step down". Reuters. 
  7. ^ "Dance, sing, floss and travel". Retrieved 2004-07-23. 
  8. ^ "Focus on your future". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  9. ^ "Forbes: Chip Wilson". Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ $12M donation from Lululemon founders helps launch new Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen "" December 7, 2012
  14. ^ Partnership designed for continued success at KPU “” December 7, 2012
  15. ^ "Global News: Child Run 2014". Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  16. ^ "Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson Slammed On 'The Colbert Report' (VIDEO)". November 19, 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.