Lululemon Athletica Inc.'s Christine Day has become the first woman to be crowned Chief Executive Of The Year by a leading business magazine.
Day was chosen for "her ability to create a remarkable bond between the brand and its ultra-loyal fans," the Report on Business said Wednesday.
Since Day joined the company in 2008, Lululemon has gone from a niche Vancouver startup specializing in yoga gear to an international lifestyle brand worth nearly $5 billion.
Under her leadership, Lululemon has grown to more than 150 stores and launched dance, swimming, cycling, hiking and casual wear lines. The company is projecting sales revenue will hit $1 billion in 2012.
In the second quarter, Lululemon posted $212.3 million in sales for profits of $38.4 million. Third quarter results are expected Dec. 1 and will include the start of the holiday rush.
Day has a knack for building strong corporate cultures and cult-like followings around consumer goods. Prior to Lululemon, she spent 20 years at Starbucks, where she held several key management positions.
Earlier this month, the Canadian Board Diversity Council said corporate Canada needs more women in leadership roles. In the retail sector, for instance, women hold 18.5% of all boardroom seats.
Day — a wife and mother of three now living in Vancouver — has a BA from Central Washington University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.
Last year, the magazine named Quebecor's Pierre Karl Peladeau, Wind Mobile's Anthony Lacavera and Shaw's Jim Shaw CEOs of the year. Past winners also include Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne and Fairfax Financial's Prem Watsa.