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Guess addresses stakeholder letter regarding Marciano brothers

By Rachel Douglass

Feb 10, 2022


Image: Guess

Guess highlighted its “continued successful execution of business transformation” in a response to one of its stakeholders that expressed concerns regarding sexual assault allegations against one of the company’s co-founders and executives.

A public letter published by Legion Partners, a significant stakeholder of the fashion firm, called on the company to reconsider its position with the Marciano brothers, the retailer’s co-founders and directors. The letter came after a cohort of sexual assault allegations against Paul Marciano resurfaced, with additional claims and an ongoing lawsuit that put Marciano’s behaviour back in the limelight.

In the letter, the investment firm said it was “deeply concerned by the lack of good judgement the board of directors” displayed in allowing Marciano to continue serving as a board member and chief creative officer.

The Guess board of directors’ response covers mostly that of the company’s recent “positive strategic moves” and support of “a strong balance sheet and solid cash flow generation”. It further outlined its execution of strategic plans to elevate both the Guess and Marciano brands, as well as the launch of a product line and further company transformations that remain ongoing.

Referencing the allegations, Guess briefly outlined details from its past investigation regarding claims against Marciano in 2018, during which it formed a special committee composed of independent directors with findings made public in June 2018.

It added: “Regarding subsequent allegations against Mr. Marciano, the company has strongly refuted these claims and is contesting them vigorously. The board will continue to act in accordance with the company’s high standards, including upholding strong internal processes and appropriate board oversight and review of all related party transactions.”