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Ex-Clarks CEO launches legal battle against shoe firm

Published
today Oct 2, 2019
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Former Clarks boss Mike Shearwood has taken the British footwear business to an employment tribunal in an attempt to defend himself following his shock exit in June last year.


Clarks


Shearwood, who was axed as CEO due to conduct issues, has claimed he was not given a chance to answer the allegations, the Sunday Times reported.

He was accused of calling black people “violent”, describing a customer as a “faggot” and commenting on an employee’s breast size. He has denied these and other allegations, such as describing an employee as “hot”, and claimed some of his comments were taken out of context.

He has also suggested that two of the people who had given witness statements were in collusion.

At the time, Clarks said his resignation followed an investigation into a number of complaints that breached its code of ethics. The family-owned business is now led by former Geox chief executive Giorgio Presca.

The employment tribunal in Bristol will analyse the circumstances surrounding Shearwood’s
forced departure, after he claimed he was about the blow the whistle on alleged questionable accounting practices and corporate governance.
 
A spokesperson for Clarks said in a statement: “It is Clarks’ firmly held belief that Mr Shearwood is fabricating a frivolous and vexatious narrative surrounding his time at Clarks purely with the intent of eliciting a termination payment from the business.”

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