In a letter addressed to executives, employees question whether the HR leader has appropriately responded to racial issues within Adidas.
CNN Business acquired a copy of a letter sent to three Adidas executives on behalf of a group of Adidas employees from around the world asking the company to investigate its chief human resources officer Karen Parkin. The letter, which was signed by 83 employees from five of the company's offices in Germany, the United States, Australia, and Panama, urges the company to take additional actions to address internal racial inequality and calls for the introduction of a process through which employees can anonymously report instances of racism and discrimination, and be protected against retaliation.
Among their concerns is that the senior management within Adidas is “not representative of the communities we profit from and we lack the leadership, processes, and goals that will enable us to get there.” It also requests that the company's Supervisory Board "investigate whether we have the right approach and behavior from our (chief human resources officer) to tackle this issue within Adidas."
Adidas responded to the letter publicly in a statement saying it rejected the arguments put forward in the employee letter.
Reads the statement to CNN: "Adidas and Reebok have always been and will always be against discrimination in all forms and we stand united against racism. Our Black employees have led the response that we will continue to implement together and that we have committed to as a company. We are now concentrating our efforts on making progress and creating real change immediately."