Philip Green A ‘Bully’, Says Ex-Topshop Executive

Green has been named by Lord Hain as the businessman behind an attempted coverup of allegations of racial and sexual harassment…

Philip Green with Jane Shepherdson

by Sophie Wilkinson |
Updated on

Philip Green is an ‘aggressive bully who yelled at staff’, according to Jane Shepherdson, a former exec who worked with him for seven years.

Last week we brought you news that Lord Hain, a member of the House of Lords, had used his parliamentary privilege to name Topshop boss, the billionaire Philip Green, as the businessman behind an attempted coverup of allegations of racial and sexual harassment.

Green has denied all allegations of racial and sexual harassment.

Now, though, Shepherdson, who worked for Green from 1999 to 2006, leaving Topshop the week that Kate Moss launched her first collection with the brand, before working for free for Oxfam then becoming CEO of Whistles until 2016, has spoken out against her former boss.

‘He was a dealer, he wasn’t a great retailer in any sense, and knew very little about fashion,’ she said at a conference organised by The Telegraph. ‘There was an awful lot of bullying and I think there still is. I think it’s become acceptable in the fashion industry in a way it shouldn’t be. But I think his behaviour was worse than most.’

Of her personal experience with Green, she said: ‘He would get very angry and shout a lot. And then I would get very angry and shout a lot. Every time I did that he would back down, bearing in mind I was in a very good position. It was really exhausting doing it. It takes its toll on you. You have to continue to be very aggressive.’

Meanwhile, another former retail worker, Mary Portas, who worked her way up from the shop floor to become a government retail advisor, has called to integrate ‘a more feminine set of values into the way we work’. Promoting her new book, Work Like A Woman, she explained in a piece for the Financial Times: ‘Characteristics like flexibility, intuition, empathy and resilience are powerful tools with which to create better businesses. While I call this working like a woman, it’s a change that will benefit men just as much'.

Perhaps there's a few men out there who could take note...

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