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CEO of parent company of Coach and Kate Spade resigns after misconduct claim

Tapestry CEO: diversity is a "real business imperati
Tapestry CEO: diversity is a "real business i... 06:39

The CEO of the company that owns Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman and Coach fashion brands resigned Tuesday citing allegations of misconduct by a woman with whom he had a relationship more than a decade ago.

Jide Zeitlin had been Tapestry's chairman since November 2014 and took over as CEO in September 2019 after the company ousted its then-CEO Victor Luis.

The Nigerian-born executive was one of only four Black CEOs in the Fortune 500.

"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," Zeitlin said in a statement. "I felt compelled to resign today because I do not want to create a distraction for Tapestry, a company I care deeply about."

According to The Wall Street Journal, Tapestry's board of directors has hired a law firm to investigate allegations raised by at least one woman. The woman accused Zeitlin of posing as a photographer under an alias to lure her into a relationship more than a decade ago, according to the report.

"Drew too close"

In a LinkedIn post Zeitlin acknowledged that the relationship was a mistake, but denied exploiting his role as CEO.

"The allegations that I drew too close to the above woman are true; however, our relationship began and concluded 13 years ago, it had nothing to do with my role at Tapestry, and I did not use power, wealth or position to further that relationship," he wrote.

Tapestry declined to comment on the allegations.

Joanne Crevoiserat, Tapestry's chief financial officer, has been appointed interim CEO while the company searches for a successor. The company said it will look at both internal and external candidates.

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

In addition, Susan Kropf, the company's lead independent director, was appointed chair of the board, replacing Zeitlin.

Shares in New York-based Tapestry closed up 4% in Tuesday trading.

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