Ted Baker founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin has resigned with immediate effect following allegations of misconduct.

Kelvin, who took a leave of absence after the claims came to light in December last year, has now left the company he founded and led for three decades.

He continues to deny all allegations of misconduct but has resigned “so that the business can move forward under new leadership”.

Acting chief executive Lindsay Page will continue in his role, assisted by long-time chair David Bernstein, who is now executive chair. Bernstein will continue in his role until no later than November 30, 2020, when a successor will be appointed.

An independent investigation by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills is ongoing and is expected to conclude in the spring.

Bernstein said: “Ray Kelvin founded the business 32 years ago and has, together with the fantastic team around him, been the driving force behind it becoming the global brand it is today.

“As founder and CEO, we are grateful for his tireless energy and vision. However, in light of the allegations made against him, Ray has decided that it is in the best interests of the company for him to resign so that the business can move forward under new leadership.

“As a board of directors, we are committed to ensuring that all employees feel respected and valued. We are determined to learn lessons from what has happened and from what our employees have told us and to ensure that, while the many positive and unique aspects of Ted’s culture are maintained, appropriate changes are made.

“Sharon Baylay has agreed to act as the designated non-executive director for engagement with the Ted workforce. Led by Lindsay, we are confident that the strong and experienced team we have in place will build the Ted culture and move the business forward.”

‘Fresh energy’

In a separate statement, Kelvin said: “Difficult though this decision is given that Ted Baker has been my life and soul for over 30 years, I’ve decided that the right thing to do is to step away from Ted and allow the business to focus on being the outstanding brand it is so it can face 2019 with fresh energy and renewed spirit.

“As a shareholder in the business I’ll support Lindsay in his leadership and be available to him and the team wherever I can offer helpful advice.

“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in building Ted Baker to the global brand it is today. Thank you to every single colleague, customer, supplier and investor for your commitment to the business. We couldn’t have done it without you and I’m so grateful.

“The past few months have been deeply distressing and I’ll now be taking time privately with my family to consider what my next adventure will be. Bye for now, Ray.”