Dec 9, 2019
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Ted Baker seeks new chairman, names Deloitte to inventory investigation

Dec 9, 2019

Ted Baker has hired California-based consultants Korn Ferry to help it find a replacement for chairman David Bernstein, who is stepping down from the board next year.

Ted Baker

It has been a tumultuous year for the British clothing brand, which has been hit with scandal, disappointing sales and accounting mistakes.

David Bernstein agreed to take on executive responsibilities in March after Ray Kelvin, the man who founded Ted Baker, resigned from his role as chief executive officer amid accusations of harassment and misconduct.

Lindsay Page was promoted to chief executive officer in April.

Korn Ferry is leading the hunt for a new chairman, with the job being offered on a non-executive basis. A shortlist of candidates has not yet been drawn up, reported The Sunday Times.

For the moment, Ted Baker has more pressing problems to address. The company recently revealed that it overstated the value of its inventory on its balance sheet, which could take a £20m to £25m toll on its finances. Deloitte and law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have been appointed to investigate the issue, in what is the second of such independent reviews commissioned by the business in the past six months.

The firms will report back to a sub-committee, chaired by independent director Sharon Baylay. Ted Baker said the blunder will have no cash impact on the current financial year, but the company is undertaking significant costs to carry out the reviews.

And according to the Financial Times, the brand has hired a separate consultancy firm, AlixPartners, to help it formulate a turnaround strategy, after it issued a profit warning following a half-year loss of £23m. Revenues for the first six months of the year fell by 0.7% to £30.4m.

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