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Adidas HR Head resigns as company tackles diversity concerns

The demands of black employees were reported by the Wall Street Journal in mid-June.

I am deeply committed to our goals of creating a more diverse, inclusive and fair business, said Parkin, member of the board, in a statement. Although we have made progress in many areas, much remains to be done. However, it became clear to me that to unify the organization, it would be better for me to retire and pave the way for change.

Igor Landau, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Adidas AG, said in a statement that Parkins’ decision to leave the company reflects his belief that a new HR manager will best accelerate the pace of change that Adidas needs in this moment.

Following protests against police brutality over the death of George Floyd, for which four former Minneapolis police officers were charged, Adidas, like many other brands, spoke to social media in support of racial equality. But employees of Adidas and other companies like Amazon accused them of hypocrisy, saying their own workforce lacked diversity.

Following criticism, Adidas said it would invest $ 120 million in US initiatives to end racial injustice and support black communities until 2025. Among other initiatives, it promised that at least 30% of all new internal and external positions would be filled with black and Latin talent.

Adidas employs approximately 59,000 people worldwide.

Adidas has stated that its CEO, Kasper Rorsted, will temporarily assume responsibility for global human resources until the appointment of a successor.

Parkin joined Adidas for the first time in 1997 as a sales manager for Adidas UK. Since then, she has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility within the company in the areas of customer service, business development, supply chain and human resources, culminating with the management of global human resources division over the past 5 1/2 years. She was appointed to the company’s board of directors in 2017.

Follow Anne DInnocenzio:

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the first name Parkins. It’s Karen, not Karin.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, disseminated, rewritten or redistributed without authorization.

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