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Gloucestershire Business News

Ted Baker boss is now 'hands off' after 'forced hugging' allegations

The founder of fashion chain Ted Baker, Ray Kelvin, has resigned following allegations of misconduct

The high-end retailer has been one of the key outlets at Gloucester Quays since opening two years ago.

The announcement led to a fall in the share price of Ted Baker PLC, but that has since rebounded and they are now trading up by as much as five per cent.

Mr Kelvin took a voluntary leave of absence from his role as CEO in December last year after allegations of misconduct, including of "forced 'hugging'" made by staff.

Following that move and internal independent committee has investigated those claims and they appointed law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to investigate Ted Baker's policies, procedures and HR-related complaints.

Mr Kelvin denies all allegations of misconduct but has agreed to resign with immediate affect as chief executive officer and as a director of Ted Baker PLC.

Acting CEO Lindsay Page will continue in the role while the board have asked David Bernstein to provide additional support in the role of executive chairman.

The company expect the investigation into policies procedures and complaints to conclude by the midpoint of 2019.

Executive Chairman David Bernstein said: "Ray Kelvin founded the business 32 years ago and has, together with the fantastic team around him, been the driving force behind it becoming the global brand it is today.

"As founder and CEO, we are grateful for his tireless energy and vision.

"However, in light of the allegations made against him, Ray has decided that it is in the best interests of the company for him to resign so that the business can move forward under new leadership.

As a board of directors, we are committed to ensuring that that all employees feel respected and valued.

"We are determined to learn lessons from what has happened and from what our employees have told us and to ensure that, while the many positive and unique aspects of Ted's culture are maintained, appropriate changes are made.

"Sharon Baylay has agreed to act as the designated non-executive director for engagement with the Ted workforce. Led by Lindsay, we are confident that the strong and experienced team we have in place will build the Ted culture and move the business forward."

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