Activists call on Guess founders to step down
Activist partners at Legion Partners Asset Management have called on the board of fashion brand and retailer Guess to remove co-founders and directors Paul Marciano and Maurice Marciano after “more than a decade [of] a pattern of appalling allegations of sexual assault and harassment,” according to a press release on Tuesday, February 8.
Legion Partners managing directors Chris Kiper and Ted White outlined the history of the allegations against the brothers in a letter, along with the misconduct allegations against Paul Marciano and Maurice’s lack of action or response, which “appeared to turn a blind eye” to her brother’s alleged actions, the statement said.
“Legion Partners believes it is the responsibility of the rest of the board to finally take action and immediately remove Paul Marciano from his executive role and the two brothers from the board – or at the very least remove them. ‘pledge that they will not be reappointed at the next 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders,’ according to the statement.
Kiper and White wrote in their letter that they “are deeply concerned about the lack of good judgment shown by the Guess board of directors in continuing to allow co-founder Paul Marciano to serve as a board member. administration and creative director of the company.. As human beings, we are appalled.
Paul Marciano has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 11 women since 2009, the letter says, adding that the alleged incidents date back to the 1980s.
Kiper and White called Paul Marciano in the letter a “serial predator who used his positions of power and authority at Guess to harass, sexually assault and otherwise take advantage of young female role models,” including allegations from four women at the course of the last year.
Guess’s insurance company recently filed a lawsuit to absolve itself of liability to cover claims related to Paul Marciano’s alleged “series of wrongdoing” after a lawsuit filed in January 2021 by a former model who accused him of rape and accused Guess of enabling his behavior for years, the letter states.
Last February, Guess suffered a data breach that resulted in the loss of the personal information of approximately 1,300 of its customers in America, Europe and Asia. Its investigation was completed at the end of May and all parties concerned were informed at the beginning of June.
Read more: Fashion brand assumes data breach affects customer information