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A tale of two founders: Ted Baker and Superdry
Maligned retail player Ray Kelvin has resigned as chief executive of British fashion label Ted Baker (TED) following an ongoing probe into ‘hugging’ claims made by some employees.
Kelvin is the creative inspiration behind the brand he founded in Glasgow over 30 years ago and he remains the dominant shareholder with a 34.9% stake. We wouldn’t be surprised to see more directors leave the business as other investors demand a revamp to the working culture.
Meanwhile, the gloves are off at rival fashion brand Superdry (SDRY), where co-founders Julian Dunkerton and James Holder have requisitioned a shareholders’ meeting to press for the election of Dunkerton and Boohoo (BOO:AIM) chairman Peter Williams as directors.
Dunkerton, who left the company a year ago, has seen the value of his stake shrivel following a slew of profit warnings and wants to correct what he insists is a fundamentally flawed strategy under CEO Euan Sutherland.
However, the current board argues ‘a number of the current issues facing Superdry stem from Mr Dunkerton’s approaches to brand and product strategy’ and insists Dunkerton’s return as a director ‘would be counter-productive, highly disruptive and likely to lead to resignations’.