Ralph Lauren executive Howard Smith to resign after he violated ethics code

Ralph Lauren Europe President Howard Smith attends Vogue Foundation Dinner Photocall as part of Paris Fashion Week – Haute Couture Fall / Winter 2018-2019 at Musee Galliera on July 3, 2018 in Paris, France.

Julien Hekimian | Getty Images

Ralph Lauren said Wednesday that its executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Howard Smith, will resign immediately after the retailer learned of allegations regarding his personal conduct.

Upon learning of the allegations, the audit committee of the board of directors launched an independent investigation with the assistance of outside counsel, Ralph Lauren said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The investigation revealed conduct that violated Ralph Lauren’s code of business conduct and ethics and other policies, it said.

Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

He had been with the company for just under 20 years, according to his LinkedIn profile, having served in a variety of positions including VP of logistics and SVP of Ralph Lauren’s global supply chain.

His profile page on Ralph Lauren’s corporate website was already blank on Wednesday morning.

Ralph Lauren emphasized in the SEC filing that the resignation is unrelated to its financial reporting and business performance.

Ralph Lauren said that regional leaders who already oversee the day-to-day business will report on an interim basis directly to CEO and President Patrice Louvet.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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