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George Floyd: Adidas HR chief resigns amid racism

Shoppers wearing face masks walk past the Adidas logo in a mall.Copyright of the image
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The HR manager of sportswear giant Adidas has resigned due to the company’s corporate culture and lack of diversity.

Karen Parkin is a British citizen who has worked at Adidas for over 20 years.

His release follows protests by Adidas staff for a comment he reportedly made at an internal meeting last year.

Global brands face increasing pressure to take action against racial equality after the death of George Floyd.

In a statement released by the world̵

7;s second largest sportswear manufacturer Parkin, Ms. Parkin said she had always been against racism and had “decided to withdraw and pave the way for change.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, a group of more than 80 Adidas workers asked for an investigation into Ms Parkin’s management of racism, diversity and inclusion earlier this month.

Parkin said at an employee meeting at the Adidas Reebok brand headquarters last year that the problem of racism was the “noise” that was only talked about in the United States.

His resignation is one of the most high-profile corporate moves since Floyd’s death in May intensified the focus on discussion of racism and inequality worldwide.

Parkin, who left the role with immediate effect, was the only woman on the company’s board of directors.

More diversity

His resignation means that the company’s board of directors is now made up entirely of white men. Adidas previously said it would take steps to address diversity and inclusion issues.

The company has promised to ensure that at least 30% of its new employees in America are from black or Latin backgrounds.

It also set the target for those groups that hold 12% of its leadership roles in the United States within five years.

Adidas is also among the growing number of global brands joining the boycott of social media advertisers for managing racist content.

The move comes after the Stop Hate For Profit campaign has invited companies to pause their advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the month of July.

Some companies have gone further and suspended their ads on other platforms.

Adidas did not respond immediately to a BBC request for comment.

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