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Mirror founder Brynn Putnam to step down as CEO, Lululemon says


Mirror CEO Brynn Putnam appears on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley”.


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

Putnam, a former professional ballet dancer, founded Mirror in 2016. Mirror founder Putnam will remain as an advisor until July 2017. While the company looks for a successor, Putnam and Lululemon Chief executive Calvin McDonald were quoted in a memo sent to employees. This information was obtained by CNBC.

Mirror has named three of its senior leaders to be co-leaders. They are Tess Hales head of customer, Olivia Lange head of operations, and Kristie DiAmbrosio Correll chief technology officer. All three will report to McDonald’s.

Putnam and McDonald’s stated in the memo that it was now time to “find the right candidate” for the next stage of the brand’s growth. Lululemon refused to give further information.

Last year, Lululemon acquired Mirror for $500 million, hoping to capitalize on the feverish demand for at-home exercise equipment during the Covid pandemic. Mirror costs $1,495, with a wall-mounted device costing $1,495, while users pay a monthly subscription fee to access on-demand workouts ranging from kickboxing to yoga flow.

In mid-2019, Lululemon invested approximately $1 million in Mirror.

The apparel retailer added Mirror shop in-shops at 150 stores since the purchase. This retailer is aiming to bring that total to 200 stores by the holiday season.

Lululemon has to spend more to market Mirror. Mirror is in a highly competitive marketplace. Customers are returning to their gyms. And rivals — which include Peloton, Tonal and Hydrow, among others — are consistently trying to improve their offerings. This category also sees new investment. Hydrow, for example, announced Tuesday it completed fresh financing with celebrity backers Lizzo and Justin Timberlake.

Lululemon’s McDonalds stated to analysts in a conference phone call this month that Mirror has “low awareness”. He also said that digital marketing costs are rising making it harder for businesses to attract new customers.

Jefferies Wall Street research company claimed Peloton occupied the number one spot for most popular online and connected fitness platforms in August. The cycle maker is also increasing marketing spending, as visits to fitness centers have been normalizing over the summer. Jefferies reported that gym visits to the United States have fallen to just 1% in comparison with the same time in 2019, as compared to January 2020.

Lululemon doesn’t break out Mirror’s sales on a quarterly basis, but the company said in June that Mirror was on track to deliver between $250 million and $275 million in revenue in 2021. Mirror will be making its Canadian debut in the coming weeks.

Lululemon shares have risen 22% in the past year. Market cap of the company is close to $53 billion.