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Chip Wilson, Canadian businessman and investor, Entrepreneur, Chip Wilson Biography,
Entrepreneur Founder Stories

Chip Wilson: Trailblazing Founder of Lululemon and Visionary Entrepreneur

Dennis J. “Chip” Wilson, born on April 25, 1955, in San Diego, California, is renowned for his significant contributions to the athletic apparel industry. Growing up in an athletically inclined family, with both parents as college athletes and his father a physical education teacher, Wilson developed a keen interest in sports and fitness from an early age. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Calgary in 1980.

Chip Wilson

Family Life

Wilson has been married twice and is a father to five sons. He is currently married to Shannon Wilson, co-founder of Kit and Ace. The couple resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, where they continue to make their mark in the fashion and business world.

Career Highlights

Wilson’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1979 when he founded Westbeach Snowboard Ltd, a pioneering snowboard apparel company. After selling Westbeach in 1997, he founded Lululemon Athletica Inc. in 1998, a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company that revolutionized the industry. Serving as CEO until 2005, Wilson played a pivotal role in Lululemon’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2007 and continued to influence the company’s direction as chairman of the board until December 2013.

In 2014, Wilson’s activism regarding Lululemon’s board contributed to a notable increase in the company’s share price. That same year, he sold a significant portion of his ownership in Lululemon to Advent for $845 million. He later founded Hold It All, a holding company for his various business ventures, and in 2016, he published an open letter to shareholders expressing concerns about Lululemon’s future direction.

Business Ventures

Wilson is best known for founding Lululemon Athletica Inc., but his entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond this. He also founded Westbeach Snowboard Ltd and has been involved in numerous other ventures through Hold It All.

Major Achievements

Wilson’s most significant achievement is the founding and growth of Lululemon Athletica Inc. into a globally recognized brand. Under his leadership, the company expanded rapidly and successfully went public in 2007. His innovative approach to athletic wear and dedication to high-quality products have left a lasting impact on the industry.

Awards & Recognitions

Throughout his career, Wilson has received numerous accolades, including:

  • Ernst & Young Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year for Innovation and Marketing (2004)
  • Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business (2012)
  • Honorary doctorates from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (2014)
  • Induction into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame (2018)

Personal Life & Legacy

Despite being diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, a genetic muscle condition, Wilson remains active in both business and philanthropy. He has donated $100 million towards research on the condition, demonstrating his commitment to improving the lives of those affected by it.

Chip Wilson’s legacy is defined by his entrepreneurial success, his innovative contributions to the athletic apparel industry, and his philanthropic efforts. His current net worth is estimated at $5.37 billion, reflecting his enduring impact and success in the business world.


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