Adidas HR head resigns as company addresses diversity issues

Adidas HR head resigns as company addresses diversity issues

Adidas HR head resigns as company addresses diversity issues

NEW YORK — The head of global human resources at sports apparel and shoe company Adidas resigned Tuesday following criticism from employees of what they see as the company’s failure to diversify its workforce.

Karen Parkin’s resignation comes after a group of Black employees called on Adidas’ supervisory board to investigate her and her strategy for addressing racial issues in the workplace. The employees are also pressing the company based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, to create an anonymous public channel to submit any problems about racism.

The demands from 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 equitable company, “ Parkin, a board member, said in a statement. “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.”

Igor Landau, chairman of Adidas AG’s supervisory board, said in a statement that Parkin’s decision to leave the company reflects her belief that a new HR leader will “best drive forward the pace of change that Adidas needs at this time.”

In the wake of protests over police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd, for which four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged, Adidas, like many other brands, took to social media in support of racial equality. But employees at Adidas and other companies like Amazon accused them of hypocrisy, saying their own workforces lacked diversity.

Following the criticism, Adidas said that it would invest $120 million toward U.S. initiatives focused on ending racial injustice and supporting Black communities through 2025. Among other initiatives, it promised that a minimum of 30% of all new positions — internal and external — will be filled with Black and Latino talent.

Adidas employs about 59,000 people around the world.

Adidas said its CEO Kasper Rorsted will assume responsibility for global human resources on an interim basis until a successor is appointed.

Parkin first joined Adidas in 1997 as sales director for Adidas UK. Since that time, she has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at the company across customer service, business development, supply chain and human resources, culminating in heading up global human resources division over the past 5 1/2 years. She was appointed to the company’s executive board in 2017.

_________

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio

___

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

Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press

Diversity

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

National Volunteer Week runs April 18th to 24th.
photo submitted
Celebrating the commitment of volunteers in Rimbey

National Volunteer Week runs April 18th to 24th

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read