Adidas AG is launching an investigation into claims that the rapper Ye was allowed to behave inappropriately towards employees on the German sneaker chain.
The sportswear group terminated its profitable design partnership with Ye, previously referred to as Kanye West, in late October after he made a collection of antisemitic and racist remarks. Since then allegations have continued to mount in regards to the rapper’s erratic behaviour and remedy of designers and different workers at Adidas, whose collaboration with Ye was as soon as one of the vital profitable within the business’s historical past.
An article in Rolling Stone journal, citing former workers talking anonymously, detailed alleged incidents of inappropriate behaviour towards staff and potential hires by Ye. Based on the journal, former employees at Adidas despatched an nameless letter to the corporate claiming that senior managers had been conscious of Ye’s problematic angle however had “turned their ethical compass off” and failed to guard workers.
“It’s at the moment not clear whether or not the accusations made in an nameless letter are true,” an Adidas spokesperson mentioned. “Nonetheless, we take these allegations very severely and have taken the choice to launch an impartial investigation of the matter instantly to handle the allegations.”
Ye couldn’t instantly be reached for remark. Information of the investigation was first revealed by the Monetary Occasions.
Adidas can also be going through questions from considered one of its largest shareholders, Union Funding, which wrote to the sneaker firm on Thursday asking for extra details about the claims.
“Adidas should disclose when the administration and supervisory boards first have been knowledgeable of those inner accusations,” mentioned Janne Werning, head of Union Funding’s capital markets and stewardship.
The controversy over Ye has hit Adidas’s earnings by as much as €250 million for the yr and aggravated different issues the group was already going through. Earlier this month, Adidas appointed Bjorn Gulden, the previous chief government officer of rival Puma SE, to take over as CEO. He’ll begin in January and attempt to assist the corporate get better from a panoply of challenges, together with in China, as soon as Adidas’s greatest progress engine, the place gross sales have fallen amid shopper boycotts of Western manufacturers.
By Tim Loh and Deirdre Hipwell
The German sportswear big’s partnership with Ye generated $1.7 billion in 2021, accounting for almost 7 % of its annual income. Now that the corporate has lower ties with the rapper, will it maintain promoting Yeezy designs?