Mike Shearwood, CEO of footwear brand Clarks, has left the business abruptly following complaints about his conduct.
Shearwood, the former CEO of Karen Millen, had been with the family owned business for two years. In a statement Clarks said it has recently learned that “aspects of Mr Shearwood’s conduct, conversations and expressions fell short of the behaviours expected of all its employees on a number of occasions”.
The company said that it had, under the circumstances, accepted Shearwood’s resignation and that senior independent director Stella David had been appointed as interim CEO.
It did not reveal the exact nature of the allegations against Shearwood but said his departure came following an inquiry over “complaints of conduct contrary to the family owned company’s code of business ethics“.
Recently Shearwood had pledged that Clarks would return manufacturing to the UK for the first time since 2006 by opening a factory in Somerset. In its latest set of financial figures, the business posted a loss after tax of £31.3m for the year to 31 January 2018 on group sales down 7% to £1.5bn.