The chief executive of Ted Baker is close to leaving the company six months after it was taken over by a giant American brands and entertainment conglomerate.
Sky News has learnt that Rachel Osborne, who took the helm at the British retailer in the midst of a governance and accounting crisis in 2020, is expected to leave in the coming months.
The news comes as Ted Baker’s new owner, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), progresses its conversion into a brand licensing business.
ABG, which owns Forever 21, Reebok and a stake in David Beckham’s portfolio of consumer goods, is in talks to sign a number of new partners in the UK to take over Ted Baker’s design, logistics and other functions.
It has already signed similar deals in the US and China.
This shift means that the British company no longer requires a group CEO, according to a person close to the situation.
Ms Osborne joined Ted Baker as finance chief in 2019, before being elevated to the top job in March 2020.
She announced a turnaround strategy as the company fought for survival, with its existing challenges exacerbated by the onset of the pandemic.
After a series of discussions with prospective bidders, ABG bought the business for £212m last autumn.
Ted Baker’s torrid period began in 2019 when founder Ray Kelvin left amid claims of inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues.
It was subsequently forced to issue a string of profit warnings and accounting mishaps, having to address the COVID-19 pandemic from a position of financial weakness.
In 2020, it axed hundreds of jobs and raised £100m to shore up its balance sheet.
Ted Baker’s takeover by ABG has brought financial stability to the brand.
ABG was valued in its most recent share sale at nearly $13bn following the sale of “significant equity stakes” to CVC Capital Partners, the Six Nations Rugby shareholder, and HPS Investment Partners.
ABG’s valuation has soared in recent years, after reportedly selling a controlling stake in August 2019 to a division of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, for $870m.
Its other shareholders include the buyout firms General Atlantic and Lion Capital, and GIC, the Singaporean state investment fund.
ABG is now among the suitors vying to buy Hunter Boot, the royal warrant-holding footwear maker.
ABG declined to comment, while Ms Osborne did not respond to a request for comment.