logo-loader
viewTed Baker PLC

Ted Baker: new year, new Ted?

In less than a year, Ted Baker's board has gone from a majority of men to one of women and has created a new role to focus on customers

Ted Baker plc - Ted Baker: new year, new Ted?

A year ago, Ted Baker plc (LON:TED) was just coming to grips with allegations of sexual misconduct against founder Ray Kelvin.

Today, non-executive director Jennifer Roebuck was chosen to cover the new role of chief customer officer, becoming the fourth woman on the board holding an executive position. Back in 2018, she was the only one among five men.

READ: Ted Baker creates chief customer officer role

The scope is to drive innovation while keeping the customer at the heart, according to a spokesperson for the firm.

The company’s motto, as seen on the website, is “Would Ted do it that way?”.

Ted Baker is supposedly Kelvin’s alter ego, so that would be a question for him.

Though, with the elevation of Roebuck to the new role, it is a case of asking “Would Jennifer do it that way?”.

Before events blew up in 2017, the eccentric and camera-shy Kelvin told Retail Week the company did not need to create the role.

“I am the CCO along with thousands of other people who work here,” he was quoted as saying.

The job is now an essential one, not just at Ted Baker, but across the industry as clothiers focus on the ever-changing whims of the customer in the digital world of fast-fashion.

When it comes to Ted Baker, however, the appointment of Roebuck is only the beginning of a longer journey.

“I do not think it is really a panacea for Ted Baker’s problems which are manifold,” Patrick O’Brien, research director at GlobalData, told Proactive.

The challenge is to re-establish a connection with customers and change the perception of the brand.

Customers “are not boycotting the brand”, O’Brien reckons, but they may be “less inclined” to shop there.

While consumers are “well aware” of the accusations against Kelvin, they may not immediately hear of the changes in the board, he added.

There may be some reward as diversity bring benefits, as studies show.

Morgan Stanley said there is a positive linkage between the balance of men and women in the workforce and a stock’s performance.

“More gender diversity, particularly in corporate settings, can translate to increased productivity, greater innovation, better decision-making, and higher employee retention and satisfaction,” the US investment bank said in 2016.

For the senior women at Ted Baker it has been a tough introduction. Rachel Osborne, appointed as chief financial officer last September, was left to deal with a £58mln accounting hole.

READ: Ted Baker investigation reveals black hole twice as large as feared

In December she was promoted as acting chief executive when Lindsay Page, Kelvin’s successor, resigned in the wake of a catastrophic profit warning following the accounting blunder.

RBC Capital Markets welcomed the change but felt the resignation of Page could pressure Osborne excessively.

In a note earlier this month, analysts urged for the vacancies to be filled to avoid “shortage of adequate experience in senior management”.

Ted Baker said today the search for a permanent chair and chief executive is “progressing well”.

Quick facts: Ted Baker PLC

Price: 105 GBX

LSE:TED
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £46.82 m
Follow

Add related topics to MyProactive

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events

NO INVESTMENT ADVICE

The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...

FOR OUR FULL DISCLAIMER CLICK HERE

Watch

Bango PLC's Ray Anderson details expanded strategic partnership with NHN Corp

Bango PLC's (LON:BGO) Ray Anderson speaks to Proactive London's Andrew Scott after announcing they've expanded its global data partnership as well as receiving a strategic investment from NHN Corp - a South Korean big data business. NHN will invest £6.5mln into the Audiens data platform,...

1 day, 5 hours ago

3 min read