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Clarks CEO resigns after misconduct probe

Published 26 June 2018

Clarks CEO Mike Shearwood has submitted his resignation following an investigation over complaints about his conduct.

The company found that Shearwood's conduct, conversations and expressions had fallen short of the behaviour expected from Clarks’ employees on several occasions.

Details about the investigation and the allegations preceding the investigation were not disclosed.

Shearwood had submitted his resignation and has left the company immediately. Shella David has been appointed as Clarks’ interim CEO.

Last year, there was a sexism remark on the company when it named men’s shoe line as ‘Leader’ and women’s shoe line as ‘Dolly Babe’.

Inner soles of the girls’ shoes had love heart symbols, while footballs were put outside of boys’ shoe line. The company later had to apologize for the incident.

Shearwood was appointed as the CEO in 2016. He previously worked at fashion retailer Karen Millen.

He left Karen Millen, after failing to secure management buy-out from its owners.

Shearwood became the CEO after Melissa Potter was ousted by the board of the company for fall in sales. Profits, even during Shearwood’s regime had fallen, despite trying to strengthen Clark’s online and international business, profits and sales during his tenure.

The company was established in 1825 and is well known for its range of footwear. It is particularly known for its desert boots.

Due to falling sales, the company had axed 170 jobs in the UK and the US back in 2016. Last year, the company had cut 60 jobs at its Somerset head offer.

Shearwood’s departure comes at a time when retailers across the UK, US and Europe are facing tough times to strengthen their sales and withstand the onslaught from online retailers such as Amazon.

In the UK alone, several chain retail stores such as Maplin, Toys R Us and Poundworld have already collapsed, while the fate of House of Fraser, New Look, Mothercare and Carpetright is still hanging in the balance.

Image: A Clarks shoe shop in Southampton, United Kingdom. Photo: Courtesy of Alex McGregor/Wikipedia.org.