How the fire started
Last week, Lynne Evarett posited on LinkedIn whether a Lululemon board member actually existed. The story actually began when the Founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson, blamed long-standing board members for the company’s lackluster performance.
Evarett speculated that Rhoda M. Pitcher and Martha Morfitt were just imaginary females, placed on the board to make it appear more gender-balanced. Granted, Evarett does admit that she is a “writer with a cheeky streak,” but the question is real enough that Fortune actually attempted to track Pitcher down.
Who Is Rhoda M. Pitcher?
Ms. Pitcher’s LinkedIn profile reads more like a placeholder, but consider that she’s probably a baby boomer who isn’t looking for work or connections through social media.
Her management consulting company is housed in a small non-descript building that Evarett says, “looks a lot like my …Uncle Bunny’s mobile home.”
When I look at it, I see rent savings from having a huge office downtown. It’s not fancy, but I bet it serves the company’s needs. Pitcher’s university degree does seem a little unusual, as her LinkedIn profile says that she earned a master’s degree from University Associates. It is surprising that she didn’t attend a more well-known school, but it was her decision.
She is real
Fortunately, Fortune was able to confirm the existence of Pitcher, but it raises an interesting question.
Why would we assume that she can’t possibly be a real person rather than allowing her to maintain her privacy?
Sure, you can say that Wilson opened the door to making her more public, but I wonder if the other board members were validated. What would someone say if a man worked out of a “mobile home,” instead of a high-rise? If he wanted to stay away from the media, would there be this question of whether he’s real?
Not everyone wants to be or even should be in the media spotlight. Ms. Pitcher deserves her privacy. I understand that women are misrepresented on boards and in business, but it doesn’t look like there’s any conspiracy here.