BERLIN (Reuters) – Adidas has appointed Amanda Rajkumar, an executive from French bank BNP Paribas, as its new head of human resources after employee complaints over racism at the German sportswear company led to the departure of Karen Parkin in June.
Parkin stepped down as HR head after a group of employees called for an investigation over her handling of racism at the company which she had described last year as “noise” only discussed in America.
Rajkumar, a 48-year-old British national, was most recently head of human resources for the Americas for BNP Paribas. She previously worked for JP Morgan for almost a decade. She will take up her new job at Adidas in 2021.
Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said he hoped Rajkumar would help to strengthen diversity at the company and entrench its position as one of the most popular employers worldwide.
“We want to … make Adidas a truly diverse, inclusive, people driven and equitable company,” he said.
After the death of George Floyd in May prompted many brands to pledge action over racial inequality, Adidas promised to promote more Black and Latino staff and invest in Black communities.
The company also admitted it has not given enough credit in the past to the many prominent Black athletes and celebrities – like James Harden and Kanye West – as well as Black employees and consumers who have helped to make it successful.
Adidas said in August it had seen no impact on sales from the race row and expects a recovery in the third quarter assuming there are no new major lockdowns as it benefits from more people exercising and dressing down as they work from home.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson. Editing by Jane Merriman)