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Guess Inc. has announced that co-founder Paul Marciano is stepping down as executive chairman of the company’s board on Monday, months after model Kate Upton accused Paul of sexual harassment and calling her a “fat pig.”
Marciano denied Upton’s claims and stated, “I have pledged my full cooperation to the company, and I have the utmost confidence in our CEO, Victor Herrero, to continue leading the company during this time.”
He was placed on an unpaid leave while Guess and an outside law firm launched an investigation, “which looked into several reports of inappropriate comments and texts along with unwanted kissing and groping.”
Over the last four months, the investigative team interviewed more than 40 people, reviewed nearly 1.5 million pages of documents, and concluded that, “many of the allegations could not be corroborated.” Their findings were released in full in Guess’ filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
However, the filing also states, “The investigation found that on certain occasions [Paul] Marciano exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers and in placing himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise.”
The company said it settled had lawsuits with five of Marciano’s accusers for a total of $500,000 — but, according to the filing, the settlements don’t admit fault.
Marciano’s brother and Guess co-founder, Maurice, will take over the chairman position now that he has stepped down. Marciano will remain on the Guess Inc. board and will continue to serve as the chief creative officer until January 2019, when his contract expires. And, as the Associated Press pointed out, he also owns a 17 percent stake in Guess Inc.
From: Cosmopolitan US
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