Adidas chief of staff stumbles across racism debate

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Adidas HR Director Karen Parkin stops.
Image: Adidas

Karen Parkin takes hats after criticizing her handling of racism at the world’s second largest sporting goods manufacturer. Disparaging remarks during a company event are said to have been doomed to the HR manager.

AAfter criticizing her handling of racism at the world’s second largest sporting goods manufacturer, didas personnel manager Karen Parkin takes her hat off. The supervisory board had accepted her resignation as labor director at the end of the month, the company said on Tuesday evening. A group of employees recently complained about the 55-year-old, according to a Wall Street Journal report. She had dismissed racism as “noise” that was only debated in America at an internal event by American subsidiary Reebok, and said she didn’t think Adidas had a racism problem. An apology from Parkin was described by the employee representatives as insufficient and demanded an investigation.

“In order to unite the company, it is better if I withdraw and prepare the way for a change”, the HR manager 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 takes over interim CEO Kasper Rorsted. Chairman of the supervisory board Igor Landau said that Adidas now needs an “accelerated change”.

Parkin has worked for Adidas for 23 years. She has been responsible for managing 60,000 Adidas employees worldwide for five and a half years. In 2017 she rose to the board.

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