Monday 06.07.2020

Adidas HR executive steps down following allegations of racism

Adidas chief executive Kasper Rorsted is to assume responsibility for global human resources until a successor is found.
Flags with the logos of the sporting goods manufacturer Adidas waving. Photo: Daniel Karmann/dpa.
Flags with the logos of the sporting goods manufacturer Adidas waving. Photo: Daniel Karmann/dpa.

Adidas' executive board member for global human resources, Karen Parkin, has stepped down after being accused of racism.

The German sporting goods giant made the announcement in a statement released late Tuesday, which said the 55-year-old executive would leave the company after 23 years.

The supervisory board approved the termination "in mutual agreement" with Parkin, the statement said.

Adidas chief executive Kasper Rorsted is to assume responsibility for global human resources on an interim basis until a successor for Parkin is found, it added.

The HR executive came under fire for a comment she reportedly made in a meeting last year with employees of the Reebok subsidiary. Parkin was said to have described a newspaper article on racism as "noise," prompting US colleagues to lodge a complaint.

On her departure, Parkin said she was "deeply committed to our goals of creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable company."

"While we have made progress in many areas, there is much more work to be done. However, 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," she said.

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