Adidas exec told staffers he promoted black manager as ‘contribution to diversity’

According to a report, a long-standing Adidas executive told employees that he promoted a black employee into a managerial role so that Adidas could make a contribution to diversity.

Roland Auschel, head of sales for the German-based sports apparel manufacturer, made the comment during a meeting with 200 managers in 2019. The Financial Times reported.

One employee at the meeting said that it was “completely inappropriate”.

Adidas launched a two-year investigation after Auschel made the comment. According to FT, the investigation ended with the high-paid executive keeping his job.

FT was told by the company that it had hired a “reputable law firm” to investigate allegations regarding “potential violations of internal conduct guidelines”. This was part of a “comprehensive, independent” investigation.

Adidas cut ties with Kanye West recently after he made antisemitic comments. FT was informed by the investigation that Auschel’s conduct did not warrant his firing under German labor laws.

The Post reached out to Adidas for comment.

A spokesperson for the company told FT that there have been no additional indications of misconduct since then.

According to the company, the investigation revealed a need for training in communication, diversity and equity as well as inclusion.

Adidas stated that it had communicated to Auschel “expectation of complying with conduct guidelines” and that this was “emphatically addressed.”

According to Adidas, Auschel, who has been with the company for over 30 years, was “subjected to several months of coaching in 2021.” According to FT, he was not denied any portion of his salary.

Adidas extended Auschel’s contract earlier this year. This included a 26% bonus. According to the FT, his total compensation for 2021 was more than $3.7million.

After it hesitated to cut ties with West who partnered with the firm in selling his lucrative Yeezy clothes line, the apparel giant came under fire.

Ye, West has changed his legal name and made several anti-Semitic comments which have cost him his business relationships with many companies.

Adidas last week announced that it would launch an investigation following allegations by former employees of the Yeezy line, Ye had shown them pornographic films and explicit photos of Kim Kardashian.

According to Rolling Stone, former Adidas employees said that Ye was a problem and that the management failed to discipline him.


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