Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin quits amid ‘forced hugging’ claims

The British luxury retail clothing company saw its share price tumble and then rally more than 4% on Monday morning after its CEO and founder stepped down amid harassment claims.

Ted Baker’s founder and CEO Ray Kelvin resigned on Monday morning amid harassment allegations relating to his ‘forced hugging’ of colleagues.

The British fashion retailer announced that an independent investigation into the harassment allegations against Kelvin has begun in response to an online campaign participated in by over 200 employees in December last year that claimed a culture of harassment existed at the company.

‘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,’ Ted Baker Executive Chairman David Bernstein said.

‘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,’ he added.

Ted Baker CEO Ray Kelvin denies allegations of misconduct

In a statement issued on Monday, Kelvin denied all allegations of misconduct, but agreed to resign with immediate effect from his position as CEO and as a director of Ted Baker.

The British fashion retailer said that the independent investigation could take until the beginning of the second quarter to complete, with the company looking to reform its policies, procedures and handling of complaints.

‘I’ve decided that the right thing to do is to step away from Ted and allow the business to focus on being the outstanding brand it is so it can face 2019 with fresh energy and renewed spirit,’ Kelvin said in a statement.

Ted Baker’s share price tumble and recovery

Immediately after the news broke regarding Kelvin’s resignation the company’s share price fell by 4.8% on Monday morning, but it has since recovered and trading more than 4% higher as of 12:10pm GMT.

Lindsay Page will serve as acting CEO in Kelvin’s absence, with Bernstein adamant that company is ‘determined to learn lessons’ in light of what has happened, admitting that ‘appropriate changes’ must be made to Ted Baker’s culture.

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