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Adidas Investigates Claims Kanye West Mistreated Employees



Adidas AG is conducting an investigation into claims that rapper Ye was authorized to engage in inappropriate behavior with employees at the German sports shoe chain.

Sportswear group ends lucrative design cooperation with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in late October after he made a series of anti-Semitic and racist remarks. Since then, allegations have continued to mount about the rapper’s erratic behavior and treatment of designers and other employees at Adidas, whose collaboration with Ye was one of the most successful. in the history of the industry.

An article in Rolling Stone magazine, citing former employees speaking anonymously, details alleged incidents of inappropriate behavior towards workers and potential hires of Ye. According to the magazine, the former Adidas employee sent an anonymous letter to the company saying that senior managers were aware of Ye’s problematic attitude but had “turned off their moral compass” and not protect employees.

An Adidas spokesperson said: “It is not yet clear whether the allegations in the anonymous letter are true. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and have made the decision to conduct an independent investigation into this matter immediately to address the allegations.”

Ye could not immediately be reached for comment. News of the investigation was first revealed by Financial Times.

Adidas is also facing questions from one of its largest shareholders, Union Investment, which wrote to the athletic shoe company on Thursday asking for more information about the claims.

“Adidas is required to disclose when management and oversight were first notified of these insider allegations,” said Janne Werning, head of management and capital markets at Union Investment.

The Ye controversy was achieved sales of Adidas up to 250 million euros for the year and exacerbated other problems the group was already facing. Earlier this month, Adidas appointed Bjorn Gulden, the former CEO of rival Puma SE, takes over as CEO. He will start in January and try to help the company recover from a multitude of challenges, including in China, once Adidas’ biggest growth driver, where sales have fallen amid a slump in sales. consumer boycott of Western brands.

By Tim Loh and Deirdre Hipwell

Looking for more information:

Inside Adidas’ Yeezy Dilemma

The German sportswear giant’s partnership with Ye generated $1.7 billion in 2021, accounting for nearly 7% of annual revenue. Now that the company has severed ties with the rapper, will they continue to sell Yeezy’s designs?



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