Ted Baker CEO Lindsay Page resigns as profits slump

Posted December 10, 2019 4:51 a.m. EST

— Ted Baker's nightmare year just got much worse.

Shares in the fashion retailer plunged as much as 35% on Tuesday after the company slashed its profit outlook, suspended its dividend and announced the resignations of its CEO and executive chairman.

"The last 12 months has undoubtedly been the most challenging in our history," the high-end London label said in a statement, citing difficult business conditions heading into the crucial holiday shopping period.

"The board has instigated an immediate action plan to improve the performance of the group," it said.

The company said it now expects profit for 2019 of between £5 million ($6.6 million) and £10 million ($13.2 million) — a 90% drop from earnings guidance issued in June.

Shares in Ted Baker pared earlier losses to trade 17% lower in London. The stock is down 79% this year.

The company said it has hired independent consultants Alix Partners to conduct a "wide-ranging review" of its operational efficiency, costs and business model.

It also suspended its dividend and announced that CEO Lindsay Page, who has been in the job for less than a year, had resigned. Executive chairman David Bernstein has also stepped down.

Page was appointed acting CEO in March after founder Ray Kelvin's abrupt departure. Kelvin left after facing allegations of harassment, including "forced hugging." Kelvin denies claims that he acted inappropriately.

CFO Rachel Osborne has been appointed acting CEO, with the search for Page's replacement to begin in January, Ted Baker said.

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