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Clarks wins tribunal against Mike Shearwood

Clarks has won an employment tribunal brought by former CEO Mike Shearwood, who had embarked on a legal battle against the footwear retailer. 

Shearwood alleged at an employment tribunal in Bristol this week that he was given a list of allegations at a board meeting last June, just hours before his departure was announced. He claimed he was not given a chance to respond to misconduct claims. Shearwood had allegedly spoken to colleagues using racist and sexist language, several media reports indicated.

He resigned in June 2018 following an investigation “into complaints of conduct contrary to the family-owned company’s code of business ethics”. Shearwood, who joined the footwear business in September 2016, left with immediate effect. 

Today the tribunal concluded and the judge ruled in Clarks’ favour. 

A Clarks spokeswoman said: “Clarks welcomes the tribunal’s ruling and the rejection of Mr Shearwood’s claims. It has always been Clarks’ belief the allegations raised by Mr Shearwood were unfounded. With the tribunal ruling as it has, we hope this matter will now remain closed.

“We stand by our decision in relation to Mr Shearwood’s departure and are pleased to see the tribunal rule in our favour. We made it clear at the time of Mr Shearwood’s resignation that we would make no further comment on the particulars of his conduct and intend to maintain that stance.

“Clarks was founded on principles of integrity, equality, and community almost 200 years ago, and these values continue to underpin everything we do as a business.”

Shearwood has been contacted for comment. 

Stella David, the company’s senior independent director, was named as interim CEO after Shearwood’s resignation, before former Geox chief executive Giorgio Presca was appointed as new Clarks CEO in February.

Before working at Clarks, Shearwood was CEO of Karen Millen from 2009 until 2015.

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