Coupa Software


The Business Spend Management Spendsetters

Michael van Keulen isn’t afraid to shake things up.

As the global procurement director for the high-growth yoga apparel brand, lululemon athletica, Michael is willing to roll up his sleeves and take his company's profitability and risk into his own hands, even if it means disrupting the status quo.

lululemon Michael van Keulen lululemon yoga

“Procurement is not rocket science.

The key is to stick to the facts, and have guts.”

Michael’s story is a tale of risk and reward. Uncovering a threat to one of Lululemon’s most iconic brand assets, Michael put his career on the line to secure Lululemon’s supply chain. “You have to be bold,” Michael says. “Being in procurement, I've been in situations where I would come home at night and tell my wife that I might be out of a job, because I made points that made the establishment highly uncomfortable.”

"I made points that made the establishment highly uncomfortable.”

There’s always a lot of talk about procurement having a “seat at the table,” but in Michael’s view, procurement leaders must earn the right to be there by thinking strategically, and by being unafraid to confront challenges like risk head on, even if doing so ruffles a few feathers.

lululemon Michael van Keulen
lululemon Michael van Keulen

As he often says,
"Be Bold, and have the ability to get s*@! done."

This philosophy has often led him to stir the pot and encourage his organization to do better, all for the greater good.

playWatch Michael's Spendsetter Story
lululemon spendsetters bold desktop lululemon spendsetters bold mobile

Subscribe here to follow our Spendsetters series.

We’ll be featuring a new leader in the BSM community each month.

Bold. Innovative. a Teammate. Authentic. Adventurous.