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Clarks CEO Resigns After Allegations of Behavioral Misconduct

Global footwear powerhouse Clarks is the latest in a string of high-profile companies that have seen top-level executives depart over allegations of workplace misconduct.

According to the U.K.-based company, CEO Mike Shearwood has resigned following an investigation into complaints of conduct contrary to the family-owned company’s code of business ethics. Taking his place as interim CEO is Stella David, Clarks’ senior independent director, effective immediately.

“Clarks recently learned that aspects of Mr. Shearwood’s conduct, conversations and expressions fell short of the behaviors expected of all its employees on a number of occasions,” the company said in a statement. “In these circumstances, the board has accepted Mr. Sherwood’s resignation.”

Shearwood joined Clarks in 2016. Prior to this role, he headed fashion retailer Karen Millen.

The executive joins other industry leaders who so far this year have stepped down after facing misconduct allegations. Just this month, Guess co-founder Paul Marciano resigned from his post as executive chairman of Guess following an investigation into allegations he engaged in sexual misconduct at work. In May, Giovanni Morelli exited his post as creative director of Stuart Weitzman after he was accused of inappropriate workplace conduct. He was later sued by an executive at the brand for alleged sexual harassment. That lawsuit continues. At Nike, brand president Trevor Edwards was the first of roughly 10 executives to leave the company amid claims of behavioral misconduct.

Clarks was founded nearly 200 years ago and is a leader in the fashion-comfort business, best known for its Wallabee and Desert Boot styles.

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