April 11, 2019 / 6:18 AM / 10 days ago

Ted Baker appoints new CEO as probe into founder's conduct ends

(Reuters) - Ted Baker on Thursday appointed company veteran and interim Chief Executive Officer Lindsay Page to its top job and said an investigation into misconduct allegations that forced the fashion retailer’s founder Ray Kelvin to quit has ended.

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past a Ted Baker store on Regents Street in London, Britain December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

Kelvin, who developed the Ted Baker brand and was CEO since the company’s launch in 1988, resigned in March after an investigation was launched into “forced hugging” and “a culture that leaves harassment unchallenged”.

After Kelvin stepped down, the investigation’s focus turned to the company’s policies, procedures and handling of human resource-related complaints, identifying several areas for improvement.

Ted Baker said it would not comment on the specific allegations made against Kelvin, who has denied all allegations of misconduct and remains the biggest shareholder.

The company said it had renewed training for all employees on HR policies and procedures and on acceptable workplace conduct.

It was maintaining an independent and confidential whistleblowing hotline and “enhancing the oversight” of both people and culture matters of the board.

“We are determined to learn from this process and, moving forward, cultivate a better environment for all employees where they always feel respected and valued,” Executive Chairman David Bernstein said.

Graphic: Interactive graphic on Ted Baker sales (tmsnrt.rs/2CpIaR9)

Graphic: Ted Baker sales over 13 years (tmsnrt.rs/2Cu4s4j)

Graphic: British retailers: Desperate for new year cheer (tmsnrt.rs/2WZX0Wf)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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