Jide Zeitlin, the chief government of Tapestry and one in all solely 4 Black chief executives within the Fortune 500, resigned on Tuesday. The sudden transfer got here after the corporate’s board was made conscious of a misconduct allegation involving Mr. Zeitlin and employed a legislation agency to examine, in accordance to an individual accustomed to the state of affairs who spoke on the situation of anonymity.
Though Tapestry, which owns Coach and Kate Spade, introduced that Mr. Zeitlin was stepping down for “personal reasons,” he later acknowledged in an announcement that the exit was associated to a previous relationship.
“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,” Mr. Zeitlin mentioned within the assertion. “I felt compelled to resign today because I do not want to create a distraction for Tapestry, a company I care deeply about.” The Wall Street Journal reported on the assertion earlier Tuesday.
The firm employed Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson after the allegation just lately got here to gentle, the particular person accustomed to the matter mentioned.
In March, Tapestry had mentioned Mr. Zeitlin would stay on the helm for no less than three extra years.
Tapestry, which relies in New York, mentioned that Joanne Crevoiserat, its chief monetary officer, would function interim chief government and that it had began a seek for a everlasting substitute.
The sudden departure comes because the retail business grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Tapestry, like different retailers, has been compelled to shut shops and modify operations in China and the United States because the virus continues to unfold.
The firm, which additionally owns Stuart Weitzman, is a big with about $6 billion in annual gross sales, however has seen its shares drop by roughly 50 % this 12 months. It subsequent reviews earnings on Aug. 13.
Mr. Zeitlin turned the Tapestry chief in September; he had been the corporate’s chairman since 2014 and was a board member earlier than that. As a part of his exit, he additionally resigned from the board.
Mr. Zeitlin had beforehand been a personal investor overseeing the Keffi Group, an funding workplace, and had spent twenty years at Goldman Sachs. Born in Nigeria and adopted by an American household as a toddler, he attracted reward and a focus final month for a workers letter, later published on LinkedIn, about civil rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the company announcement on Tuesday, Mr. Zeitlin said it had been “a privilege to lead Tapestry with its powerful brands and outstanding people.” The company praised him for his leadership at Tapestry, including his “key role in driving the development of Tapestry’s strategic growth agenda.”