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Ted Baker announces new CEO to replace Ray Kelvin and overhaul of policies after "forced hugging" claims

Lindsay Page, who has been finance director for the past 22 years, has been acting chief executive since March and will now take on the role permanently
Ted Baker
Ray Kelvin was accused of “forced hugging”

Ted Baker PLC (LON:TED) has promoted its finance director as chief executive to replace Ray Kelvin, who stepped down in March following allegations of sexual harassment.

Lindsay Page, who has been finance director for the past 22 years and took on the additional role of chief operating officer in July 2014, has been acting chief executive since Kelvin’s departure.

He will now take on the role permanently with immediate effect.

READ: Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin resigns as CEO after harassment claims

Investigation into harrassment claims completed 

In a separate statement, Ted Baker announced that an independent investigation into claims of personal misconduct against Kelvin had been completed.

Kelvin was accused of “forced hugging” and “ear kissing” by about 300 former and current staff.

Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, which was appointed to carry out the investigation, reviewed the company’s policies, procedures and handling of complaints made to human resources.

Ted Baker said Herbert interviewed a significant number of former and current employees and reviewed documentary evidence provided by the company and interviewees.

However, the fashion retailer said it “would not be making any comment on the specific allegations which were made against Mr Kelvin”.

Overhaul of policies 

Following the probe, Ted Baker plans to make changes to improve its policies and procedures including training for all employees to learn acceptable workplace conduct and maintaining an independent whistleblowing hotline.

The group said it will also be “enhancing the oversight of both people and culture matters at the board”.

As part of this, Sharon Baylay – who was general manager of advertising and online at Microsoft UK and director of marketing, communications and audiences at the BBC – will continue her new role on the board as designated non-executive director for engagement with the Ted Baker workforce.

Later this year, Ted Baker plans to conduct a survey for its employees to gauge views on the actions taken and to give them an opportunity to make suggestions for further improvements.

"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,” said executive chairman David Bernstein.

“ We are implementing changes and improvements and are committed to developing best-practice HR policies and procedures that reflect the Ted culture we are looking to develop and enhance in the future.”

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