boohoo appoints retired judge to oversee governance improvement plan

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boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) has appointed retired judge Brian Leveson to oversee its plans to improve governance following last summer’s scandal.


Leveson will report directly to the board, though his notes will also be published to ensure transparency.


READ: boohoo appoints Trainline plc CFO as independent director to improve governance issues


He has also appointed legal and independent enquiry and enforcement specialists to support him.


The former judge, who retired last year, is known for the inquiry into British press standards in 2011 after Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid admitted to phone hacking.


“boohoo has recognised that it must institute and embed change so that everyone involved in the group’s supply chain is treated fully in accordance with the law and the principles of ethical trading,” he said.


The AIM-listed online retailer came under fire after a scandal on poor working conditions at a supplier’s factory in Leicester was uncovered in July.


The fashion giant is trying to rebuild trust with its stakeholders and is following a plan designed in response to an independent review by Alison Levitt QC.


Earlier this month, Trainline‘s chief financial officer Shaun McCabe was appointed as a new independent non-executive director to address these issues.


Among other new measures, supply chain compliance will become mandatory at board meetings, the AIM-listed firm will consolidate the list of suppliers and establish a trust to support workers in the Midlands.


Analysts at Shore Capital welcomed the news as “another step in the right direction”.


“When the investment community and Boohoo shoppers see real behavioural and culture change in the business, then will be the time to reconsider our negative stance, predicated on rising central costs and governance issues from the top down,” they noted.


“We will watch developments closely and look for signs of both improved corporate governance and tangible changes to the operating model before revisiting our sell rating.”


Shares rose 2% to 296.2p on Thursday at noon, having recovered 32% from the crash in July.

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