At an internal event, Karen Parkin said the racism debate is just an American phenomenon. Now, under pressure from the employees, she is leaving the second largest sporting goods manufacturer.
Adidas personnel manager Karen Parkin takes hats after criticizing her handling of racism at the world’s second largest sporting goods manufacturer. The supervisory board had accepted their resignation request at the end of the month, the company said on Tuesday evening. A group of employees had recently complained about the 55-year-old, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. She dismissed racism as “noise” that was only debated in America at an internal event by Reebok, the US subsidiary, and said she didn’t think Adidas had a racism problem. Parkins apologized that the employee representatives were inadequate and called for an investigation.
“In order to unite the company, it is better if I withdraw and prepare the way for a change”, the HR manager now justified her resignation. The death of African-American George Floyd in police violence had sparked the debate over discrimination against black people in the United States and beyond. Parkins post is now taken over by the interim CEO Kasper Rorsted. Chairman of the supervisory board Igor Landau said that Adidas needs an “accelerated change”.
The company announced that it will fill at least 30 percent of all new positions in the United States with Afro-American and Hispanic Americans, with twelve percent expected to hold executive positions by 2025. Adidas is also earmarking $ 120 million for anti-racial initiatives over the next five years.
Parkin has worked for Adidas for 23 years. She has been responsible for the management of 60,000 Adidas employees worldwide for five and a half years. In 2017 she rose to the board.