Paul Marciano, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Guess, has resigned as Executive Chairman, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. His departure follows an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct that included 40 interviews and approximately 1.5 million pages of documents.
While “many of the allegations could not be corroborated,” the filing noted that in other cases, “credible accounts were given by both sides.” The investigation ultimately concluded “that on certain occasions Mr. Marciano exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers and in placing himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise.”
Marciano will remain on the Board of Directors and continue drawing his salary until the expiration of his contract in January 2019. During the interim, he will continue transitioning all his duties and responsibilities to CEO Victor Herrero.
Guess and Marciano entered into non-confidential settlement agreements to resolve the claims of five individuals, paying an aggregate total of $500,000 to avoid the cost of litigation. The parties do not admit liability or fault.
The allegations first became public when model Kate Upton accused Marciano of sexual misconduct at a photo shoot eight years earlier, in a tweet and an interview with Time. Marciano denied the allegations, but cooperated with the investigation.