Britain's Ted Baker says CEO Kelvin to go on leave during probe into hugging
Business Live - Dec 11th 2018, 10:08
Ted Baker’s CEO and founder Ray Kelvin is to take a voluntary leave of absence while allegations about his conduct are investigated, the British fashion retailer said.
The move follows an online campaign claiming to represent more than 200 employees which called on the company to end “forced hugging” and “a culture that leaves harassment unchallenged”.
Ted Baker said that an independent committee of non-executive directors had been appointed to ensure the views and concerns mentioned in the petition were considered and appropriate responses are taken.
The committee subsequently appointed law firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP to investigate the reports.
Ted Baker said it had been made aware of further serious allegations about the conduct of Kelvin, “which it will also be investigating”. It said it would not comment on the nature of the allegations.
“Ray Kelvin has agreed, for the benefit of the business and the people who work in it, that he will take a voluntary leave of absence from his role with the company while these allegations are investigated,” the company said.
Reuters was unable to reach Kelvin for comment. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by email.
Ted Baker COO Lindsay Page was appointed acting CEO while Kelvin was on leave, the company said.
Kelvin, 62, who owns about 35% of the company according to Refinitiv Eikon data, developed the Ted Baker brand and has been CEO since the company was launched in 1988.
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