Ted Baker founder and CEO Ray Kelvin resigns

Ray Kelvin has resigned from his position as CEO of Ted Baker, with immediate effect.

The founder of the UK fashion brand and retailer was on a voluntary leave of absence after allegations of misconduct were made against him, but he has decided to depart in what he said were the best interests of the company.

Kelvin denies the allegations, which are subject to an ongoing investigation focused on HR processes, company procedures and handling of complaints after multiple staff came forward describing inappropriate hugging behaviour in the workplace.

The investigation is led by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, which is due to report back its findings in the coming months.

Last week, Ted Baker announced a profit warning, with full-year profit expected to be down by around £10 million on previous estimates.

Lindsay Page has agreed to continue in the role of acting CEO, with executive chairman David Bernstein set to provide additional support.

Bernstein has indicated he will continue in this position until no later than 30 November 2020, by which time a successor will be appointed.

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.”

The chairman said the board is committed to ensuring that “all employees feel respected and valued”, adding that the company is “determined to learn lessons from what has happened and from what our employees have told us”.

Sharon Baylay has agreed to act as the designated non-executive director for engagement with Ted Baker's workforce.

Group revenue at Ted Baker dipped in the final weeks of 2018, but digital sales go from strength to strength and now represent around 30% of the company’s business. Ted Baker has also introduced several new tech-led strategies in recent months, including a Facebook Messenger chatbot offering style inspiration, and a new social media driven monthly ‘product drop’ to increase hype around exclusive items.