Sunday, July 12, 2020

Adidas leader Karen Parkin, who said racism talks were “ noise ”, withdrew

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“It has become clear to me that to unify the organization, it would be better for me to retire and pave the way for change,” said Parkin in a statement.

Parkin fell under fire latest a year after telling employees at a meeting that she thought the subject of racism was “noise” that is only discussed in the United States, according to at a report in the Wall Street Journal. She as well told employees that she did not think Adidas had a racism problem, the report said.

Parkin’s career at Adidas lasted 23 years, according to Adidas AG, chairman of the supervisory board, Igor Landau, who said that Parkin “had always acted in the best interest of our company and our people”.

“His decision to leave the company reflects this commitment and his belief that a new HR manager will advance the pace of change that Adidas needs today,” Landau said in a statement.

Coming out on Tuesday, Parkin said she was committed to the company’s goals of becoming more “diverse, inclusive and fair.”

His earlier controversial statements reported by the Journal came shortly after a New York Times investigation that found that less than 5% of employees at Adidas’ North American headquarters identified as black. The few blacks who worked there expressed the feeling of being marginalized by their employer, who regularly markets themselves using famous black designers and brand ambassadors like Beyoncé and Kanye West.
Karen Parkin, former member of the global human resources executive committee at Adidas, announced her resignation on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Adidas said CEO Kasper Rorsted will head the acting HR department until a more permanent replacement is found.

The company recently launched several initiatives to combat racial inequality both internally and externally. By 2025, he plans to donate $ 120 million to U.S. initiatives to combat racial injustice and support black communities.

Rorsted recently sponsored a global committee to accelerate inclusion and equality for Adidas, which the company says includes internal decision makers “from different racial and ethnic backgrounds” around the world.

Adidas has also set a target that at least 30% of all new positions in the United States will be filled by black or Latin people and that 20% to 23% of corporate roles will be filled by black and Latin by 2025. The company also said forecasts that Black and Latinx individuals will account for 12% of its leading positions in the United States.

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