The CEO of Manchester-based cloud hosting firm UKFast, who has stepped down following allegations in The Financial Times of “sexual assault, harassment and inappropriate behaviour,” had been facing pressure from his customers, according to a report by the Press Association (PA) news agency.
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones is taking “a leave of absence,” the company has confirmed.
“The company acknowledges the serious allegations recently made in a national newspaper and is conducting an internal investigation,” UKFast said.
Jones’ wife Gail will take over in his absence.
PA reported UKFast has removed a major family business and an ambulance service from its advertising.
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and key cutter Timpson both told PA they would ask UKFast to take their names off the company’s online marketing after allegations surfaced in the Financial Times last week.
Both organisations have since disappeared from the website, as has a third, Space 48, which did not respond to requests for comment from PA.
The Financial Times said Jones has “categorically” denied claims of any unlawful behaviour, saying the allegations were wholly untrue.
“They are also hurtful and damaging, especially to my wife, our family, and the UKFast team,” Jones said.
“We have dedicated 20 years of our lives to UKFast and we are hugely proud of how amazing the business that we have built together is.”
Jones said in a statement: “I have decided to step down as CEO of UKFast and take a leave of absence.
“A number of false and malicious allegations have been made against me and I am absolutely determined to ensure that they are fully investigated so that my name can be cleared.
“The interests of the employees, clients and investors in the business are paramount and much more important than any one individual.
“In the meantime, I am confident that the business will continue to grow and prosper.”