Ted Baker confirms Rachel Osborne as CEO
Ted Baker CFO Rachel Osborne will step up to become the premium fashion and lifestyle brand's third CEO in just over a year following a series of profit warnings and a misconduct scandal which claimed the head of founder Ray Kelvin.
Osborne, a former finance director of Debenhams and Domino’s Pizza who joined Ted Baker last autumn, had already been acting as CEO since December when former Lindsay Page, the former COO who had stepped up to CEO to replace Kelvin, resigned after the firm yet again warned on profits.
Since arriving at the business, Osborne has announced the company would sell and lease back its headquarters and has been leading its response two the COVID-19 crisis. The company is still searching for a new chairman after David Bernstein left at the same time as Page.
Acting chairwoman Sharon Baylay said: “Rachel has already made a significant contribution to Ted Baker, working tirelessly in recent months to develop a transformation plan for the business. She has brought hugely relevant retail and customer experience and is ideally positioned to lead Ted Baker’s turnaround in the future.”
Osborne will hope that she can get the company back on track after what former CEO Page called the “most challenging” 12 months in the firm’s history.
Former chief Kelvin, who founded the business, was forced to step down in March last year after facing allegations of misconduct, which he has denied.
Kelvin resigned after stepping back from the business in December 2018, after staff alleged that he had implemented “forced hugs”.
Since then the business’s performance has gone from bad to worse, issuing several profit warnings. In January the business revealed that auditors had found a £58 million hole in Ted Baker’s accounts, as its stock inventory was overstated.
Osborne said: “The time I have spent at Ted Baker has quickly confirmed to me what a special business this is. We have challenges to face into in the coming months, not least the significant uncertainty caused by Covid-19, but I am confident that we will succeed through the hard work of our colleagues and the strength of our brand.”