After being hit by a sexual harassment storm last year, some things have changed at Guess Inc., but others have remained the same.
The apparel company on Monday unveiled Carlos Alberini as its new chief executive officer, while announcing that it had decided to keep cofounder Paul Marciano on as chief creative officer despite sexual harassment allegations.
Alberini was formerly Guess’ president and chief operating officer between 2000 and 2010, but left to join Restoration Hardware as co-ceo until 2014 and later went on to be appointed chairman and ceo of Lucky Brand. He’ll replace Victor Herrero as ceo, who will step down at the end of this week.
Maurice Marciano, chairman of the board, who will be acting as interim ceo during the transition, said: “I am very excited to have Carlos coming back as ceo at Guess. He was instrumental in building the international business in Europe and Asia during his 10-year tenure with the company.”
The company also said, at the request of the board, Paul Marciano has agreed to remain as chief creative officer and his employment will be “at will.”
Such a move will no doubt raise eyebrows as he was accused last year of sexual harassment by model and actress Kate Upton and others. As a result, Guess subsequently set up a special committee to investigate these allegations and in June concluded that it would pay out $500,000 in settlements to five individuals and he would step down from his role of executive chairman. He remained on the board, but his brother, Maurice Marciano, was appointed chairman.
It stressed at the time that the settlements do not admit liability or fault and were done to avoid the cost of taking the matters to court.
In a move that was seen as a response to this and the wider women’s empowerment movement, Guess announced in October it was adding two women — former Spanx ceo Laurie Ann Goldman and Coresight Research founder Deborah Weinswig — to its board as independent directors. This pushed the total number of independent directors to six.
Shares in the apparel company were down 13.24 percent at $19.47 in early trading.