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Tapestry CEO resigns after company launches investigation

Tapestry, the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, has announced its chairman and CEO Jide Zeitlin, has resigned from the company and its board of directors due to “personal reasons”.

However, sources told The Wall Street Journal that Zeitlin resigned from the company after the board launched an investigation into his personal behaviour.

The company hired the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson to investigate allegations made by a woman that Zeitlin posed as a photographer under an alias to lure her into a relationship over 10 years ago.

He told The Wall Street Journal: “In the past month, a woman I photographed and had a relationship with more than 10 years ago reached out to various media organizations to express her concerns about what had occurred.

“I felt compelled to resign today because I do not want to create a distraction for Tapestry.”

Zeitlin first took on the role of CEO in September, after serving as chairman since 2014. 

As a result, the company’s current CFO, Joanne Crevoiserat has been appointed interim chief executive officer. The company announced it is commencing a search for a permanent CEO, which will include internal and external candidates.

Also, Todd Kahn, president, chief administrative officer and company secretary, will serve as interim chief executive officer and brand president of Coach, and Andrea Shaw Resnick, global head of investor relations and corporate communications, has been named Interim CFO of the company. 

Additionally, Susan Kropf, the Tapestry’s lead independent director, has been appointed chair of the board of directors. 

Kropf said: “Jide has made meaningful contributions to Tapestry over the past 14 years, first as a director, and then as chairman, and most recently as CEO. During his tenure as CEO, he played a key role in driving the development of Tapestry’s strategic growth agenda. 

“Importantly, he led with purpose during these unprecedented times. We thank him for all he has done for the Company and remain committed to continuing this important work.”

Zeitlin added: “It has been a privilege to lead Tapestry with its powerful brands and outstanding people. I have incredible belief in the company’s growth potential as each brand sharpens its focus on meeting the broad and diverse needs of their consumers.”

Kropf concluded: “Joanne, Todd and Andrea are three proven leaders who each bring over thirty years of relevant experience to their roles. Importantly, they have been instrumental in effectively guiding the organisation through this pandemic. 

“The board and I have every confidence that they, together with the strong management team in place, will continue to successfully execute Tapestry’s strategic growth agenda.”

The company said it expects to report fiscal fourth quarter results on 13 August and the results, “though pressured by the Covid-19 pandemic”, exceeded internal expectations from a top and bottom-line perspective. 

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