Adidas will launch an investigation into allegations of misconduct against Kanye West after the company was accused of ignoring the artist’s inappropriate behavior while tying Yeezy sneakers.
The decision to open an independent investigation was announced after one of Adidas’ largest shareholders demanded clarification over the alleged incidents.
Rolling Stone reported this week that the American rapper and fashion designer, also known as Ye, showed pornography to employees in meetings and showed an intimate photo of his ex-wife Kim Kardashian in job interviews, citing former employees of Adidas and Yeezy.
The sportswear brand cut ties with West last month because of him Anti-Semitic statementsand end their profitable partnership.
According to Rolling Stone, the former employees sent a letter to Adidas claiming that senior managers were aware of West’s “problematic behavior” but had “turned off their moral compass” and failed to protect its employees from “years of verbal abuse, vulgar rhetoric, and bullying attacks.” .
“It is not currently clear whether the accusations in the anonymous letter are true,” Adidas said in a statement on Thursday. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and have made the decision to immediately launch an independent investigation into the matter to address the allegations.”
Union Investment, Germany’s third-largest asset manager, wrote to Adidas on Thursday asking for more information about the claims. It has a 1 percent stake in the group and is a top 20 shareholder, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“Adidas needs to disclose when the internal allegations will first be reported to management and the supervisory board,” Jan Werning, head of ESG Capital Markets & Stewardship at Union Investment, told the Financial Times.
Adidas has developed and sold athletic shoes with West for years under the Yeezy brand. Analysts estimated that it represented about 7 percent of its total revenue. Adidas said in October that culling Yeezy would halve its expected profit this year.
The German brand initially refused to address the reports on Wednesday. “We will not discuss private conversations, details or events that led to our decision to end the partnership with Adidas Yeezy and declined to comment on any related speculation,” the company said, adding that it “was and continues to be actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events leading up to our decision to end.” Partnership.
Belgian investor GBL, which is the largest single shareholder in Adidas, and German asset manager Deka, which owns 0.8 percent, declined to comment. Frankfurt-based DWS Asset Management, which holds a 1.8 percent stake, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”