Ray Kelvin is back at Ted Baker.
The brand’s founder, who resigned from his post as CEO amid an probe into allegations of misconduct and inappropriate physical contact with staff in March 2019, will have his interests represented on the company’s board by non-executive director Colin La Fontaine Jackson.
On Tuesday, Ted Baker announced that Jackson has joined the board with immediate effect. According to the British high-street retailer, the corporate financial adviser was appointed as a nominee director for Kelvin.
“A new relationship agreement between the company and Ray has been signed, which brings the benefits of access to Ray’s unique brand experience and insight, while at the same time introducing clear guidelines that will ensure board independence is maintained and that the interests of shareholders are prioritized and protected,” it wrote in a statement. “This agreement also formalizes Ray’s relationship with the company through the board of directors.”
As part of the agreement, Kelvin is entitled to appoint one non-executive director so long as he retains an interest equal to or greater than 10% in the issued ordinary share capital of the company. Currently, he owns 11.8% of the company.
In March 2019, Kelvin resigned from Ted Baker as an independent committee appointed the prior year investigated misconduct claims against him. (At the time, Kelvin held a 35% stake in the business.) According to media reports, staffers accused Kelvin of inappropriate hugging, touching and sexual innuendo. A female employee told The Sunday Times that Kelvin inappropriately touched her while he was wearing a mask during Halloween one year in the office.
Kelvin, who took a voluntary leave of absence in 2018, denied the allegations. Lindsay Page served as acting CEO, while David Bernstein took on the role of executive chairman. “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,” Bernstein said in March 2019. “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.”
Both Page and Bernstein have stepped down from their posts. Rachel Osborne currently serves as CEO, and Sharon Baylay has assumed the role of acting chair of the board until a replacement is found.
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