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Lululemon Athletica Inc. has appointed Calvin McDonald as their new chief executive officer.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Lululemon Athletica Inc. has tapped a former Sephora and Sears Canada executive to assume the top job at the athleisure apparel company.

Calvin McDonald will take on the role of CEO at the Vancouver-based retailer on August 20, Lululemon said Tuesday.

“(He) has an impressive track record leading organizations through periods of significant growth and innovation,” said board chairman Glenn Murphy in a statement.

“He is the ideal match for the Lululemon brand and culture,” he said, highlighting McDonald’s consumer mindset and performance drive approach.

The company’s last CEO, Laurent Potdevin, suddenly stepped down in February.

Potdevin, who assumed the role in 2014, engaged in a years-long relationship with a designer who worked for the company first as an employee and later as a contractor. A source told the Canadian Press the relationship was one of several instances where Potdevin fell short of the retailer’s standards of conduct.

The retailer’s board of directors started searching for a new candidate immediately upon Potdevin’s resignation.

The months-long search brought them to McDonald, who will also become a board member.

McDonald served as president and CEO of Americas for cosmetics boutique Sephora for the past five years, starting in 2013. Before that, he spent two years as president and CEO of now defunct department store chain Sears Canada. He also spent 17 years in various roles with Loblaw Companies Ltd.

McDonald will be paid an initial base salary of US$1.25-million and will be eligible to receive, among other things, an annual target performance bonus of 150 per cent of the base salary and equity rewards equal to US$6-million, according to regulatory documents.

The Canadian-born McDonald earned his MBA at the University of Toronto.

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