CEO and founder leaves
Kelvin quits Ted Baker as misconduct probe steps up
Ted Baker has suffered a backlash over the allegations
Fashion chain Ted Baker’s founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin is leaving with immediate effect after allegations of misconduct were made against him.
Mr Kelvin, who launched the chain in Glasgow in the late 1980s, took voluntary leave of absence in December and an internal independent committee has been in the process of investigating the claims.
A former employee launched a petition that received 2, 000 signatures to put an end to his hugs and allegedly inappropriate activities with staff.
The committee commissioned the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to investigate the allegations and the company’s policies, procedures and handling of HR-related complaints.
Mr Kelvin has denied all allegations of misconduct. He has, however, agreed to resign with immediate effect from his position as chief executive and as a director of Ted Baker.
Acting chief executive Lindsay Page has agreed to continue in this role. The board has asked David Bernstein to act as executive chairman to provide additional support to Mr Page and has indicated that he will continue in this position until no later than 30 November 2020, by which time a successor will be appointed.
The investigation will continue, with the primary focus of the remainder of the investigation being on Ted Baker’s policies, procedures and handling of complaints. It is expected that HSF will conclude its investigation at the end of Q1 or early in Q2 2019.
Mr 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.”
Mr Kelvin began working in his uncle’s menswear shop in Enfield, north London, at the age of eleven and founded the Ted Baker brand in 1988, when he opened a shop specialising in men’s shirts in Glasgow. In the 2011 New Year Honours he was appointed a CBE for services to the fashion industry.