Founder of Austin-based Outdoor Voices shockingly resigns amid company turmoil
Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from Outdoor Voices.
Days after stepping down as CEO of Outdoor Voices, founder Tyler Haney has tendered her resignation from the company. According to internal documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, Haney's resignation was announced to employees on February 25 via an internal Slack channel.
"You all know how much I value and I am incredibly proud of the brand community and team we have built together to get the world moving over the last six years," she wrote. "This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I am so grateful to each and every one of you. Thank You. Sending all of my love. The future is bright and it's yours for the taking."
The company responded to CultureMap's request for comment with the following:
“Tyler has made a personal decision to resign from Outdoor Voices. We respect her choice and wish her the best. As the founder of our company and a creative visionary, she brought Outdoor Voices to an important stage in our evolution. Our focus remains on the future of Outdoor Voices and doing what's best for our company and our team. To that end, after much consideration and exploration of numerous options, we have made the difficult decision to eliminate a small number of positions. We are grateful for the contributions of the individual team members who have been impacted. Our mission isn’t changing, but we believe that operating more dynamically in an evolving retail environment will position Outdoor Voices for long-term growth and success as we continue to build an incredible, positive community that is redefining how people think about recreation."
Outdoor Voices was founded by Haney in 2013 and is headquartered on East Second Street in East Austin. With its #doingthings hashtag and signature color block leggings, OV quickly became the de facto athleisure of choice for Austin's influencer set. Haney herself has become an Instagram superstar, with a mission to spread positivity and the importance of moving every day.
Late last week, Business of Fashion broke the news that Haney was stepping down as CEO of Outdoor Voices, amid "mounting losses" for the company. At the time, BoF also reported that Haney would remain OV's founder and a member of its board of directors. Over the weekend, Haney hosted a sort of "ask me anything" on her Instagram along with her husband, Midland singer Mark Wystrach. Eagle-eyed fans noticed a rather pointed answer about "an individual trying to cause harm."
According to a 2019 New Yorker article, Outdoor Voices has raised more than $60 million dollars throughout its tenure, along with "triple-digit growth every year since its founding," though it had yet to reach profitability. In addition to its online business, the brand expanded with brick-and-mortars across the country, beginning with stores in New York City and Austin's Clarksville neighborhood.
Haney has yet to publicly comment on anything, instead taking to Instagram on the morning of February 26 to post a link to this article entitled, "'Where I got it wrong’: The Wing’s Audrey Gelman confronts the realities of rapid growth."
What exactly the turmoil means for Outdoor Voices' 350 employees — many of whom are based here in Austin — remains to be seen.