Ted Baker Chief Executive Officer Ray Kelvin has resigned following an investigation into allegations of misconduct linked to his habit of hugging colleagues and encouraging them to do the same-.

“Mr. Kelvin has denied all allegations of misconduct. He has, however, today agreed to resign with immediate effect from his position as chief executive officer and as a director of Ted Baker Plc,” the retailer said in a statement.

The fashion retailer announced in December an independent investigation into claims against Kelvin relating to his habit of hugging business colleagues.

“I’ve decided that the right thing to do is to step away from Ted and allow the business to focus on being the outstanding brand it is so it can face 2019 with fresh energy and renewed spirit,” Kelvin said in a statement.

Kelvin, who owns about 35 percent of Ted Baker and has been CEO since its launch in 1988, went on a leave of absence a few days after the investigation was launched. The company said that hugs had become “part of Ted Baker’s culture” but were “absolutely not insisted upon.”