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Jide Zeitlin resigned as the chairman and chief executive of Tapestry Inc. amid a board investigation into his personal behavior, according to people familiar with the situation.
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The parent of Coach and Kate Spade said Mr. Zeitlin had resigned Tuesday for personal reasons after less than a year in the role.
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The board hired the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP to investigate allegations raised by at least one woman, the people said. The woman accused Mr. Zeitlin of posing as a photographer under an alias to lure her into a romantic relationship more than a decade ago, the people said.
“In the past month, a woman I photographed and had a relationship with more than ten years ago reached out to various media organizations to express her concerns about what had occurred,” Mr. Zeitlin said in a statement Tuesday. “ I felt compelled to resign today because I do not want to create a distraction for Tapestry, a company I care deeply about.”
Mr. Zeitlin, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, joined the company’s board in 2006 and had been chairman since November 2014. He took over as Tapestry CEO last September after the company ousted Victor Luis. The Nigerian-born executive was one of the few Black CEOs in the Fortune 500.
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In announcing his exit, Tapestry did not discuss the allegations or board investigation, but said his departure wasn’t due to any disagreement with the company or matter relating to the company’s finances or operations.
Susan Kropf, who took over as board chair, praised Mr. Zeitlin’s service as a director and CEO. “He led with purpose during these unprecedented times. We thank him for all he has done for the Company and remain committed to continuing this important work.”
In the press release, Mr. Zeitlin said, “It has been a privilege to lead Tapestry with its powerful brands and outstanding people. I have incredible belief in the Company’s growth potential as each brand sharpens its focus on meeting the broad and diverse needs of their consumers.”
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