Ted Baker under pressure to publish Ray Kelvin inquiry details

Ted Baker HR
// Shareholders pressure Ted Baker to publish findings of inquiry into founder Ray Kelvin
// Kelvin stepped down as CEO in March after being embroiled in sexual harassment allegations
// The law firm that conducted a review for Ted Baker concluded its inquiry but its full details are not public

Ted Baker is reportedly under pressure from shareholders to publish the findings of an inquiry around allegations of misconduct by founder Ray Kelvin.

Yesterday, Ted Baker confirmed that the internal review carried out by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) had concluded, and while the retailer said the inquiry had found “several areas for improvement” – the full contents of the inquiry report were not made public.

However, Ted Baker said it was “committed” to implementing improvements and developing best-practice HR policies and procedures as well as training staff on “acceptable workplace conduct”.

Ted Baker also said HSF interviewed current and former employees.

Despite this, major shareholder told the Guardian that keeping the investigation private meant questions remained unanswered about the the board’s and the HR department’s oversight.

Other top 10 shareholders have reportedly raised concerns over the lack of transparency of the inquiry report.

Another shareholder told the Guardian that refusal to publish the report also raises questions over whether the Ted Baker chairman David Bernstein and new chief executive Lindsay Page were the right choices to continue to manage the retailer.

Kelvin, who founded Ted Baker in Glasgow in 1987, resigned in early March after being embroiled in controversy based on allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards staff, which included kissing ears and giving unwanted hugs and shoulder massages.

Kelvin, who continues to deny all the allegations, remains the largest single shareholder in the retailer with a 35 per cent stake.

He was initially compelled to take a leave of absence late last year shortly after news of the allegations first broke.

Page stepped in as interim chief executive when Kelvin took leave of absence, and this week Ted Baker confirmed that he had been appointed to the role on a permanent basis.

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