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Karen Parkin has stepped down from her post as Executive Board member of sports brand adidas AG, also relinquishing her responsibilities for Global Human Resources, effective 30 June 2020 (Monday).

CEO Kasper Rorsted will now assume responsibility for Global Human Resources on an interim basis until a successor is appointed, the Germany-based company stated in a press release

Parkin first joined adidas in 1997 as Sales Director adidas UK and, since then, has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at the company across customer service, business development, supply chain, and human resources. She then moved up to lead Global Human Resources over the past five and a half years, and was appointed to the Executive Board in 2017.

On her decision, Parkin said: "I have been very privileged to work for such a great company with so many talented and inspiring colleagues and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together. I am deeply committed to our goals of creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable company. While we have made progress in many areas, there is much more work to be done.

"However, it has become clear to me that to unify the organisation, it would be better for me to retire and pave the way for change. Now is the right time for a new HR leader to take over the function, to seize the opportunity before us and drive forward the pace of change to create a more diverse and inclusive adidas that we can all be proud of.”

Commenting on her resignation, Igor Landau, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of adidas AG, thanked Parkin for the many "contributions that she has made over the course of her career with us."

"She has served adidas with leadership and dedication for more than 23 years and always acted in the best interests of our company and our people. Her decision to leave the company reflects that commitment and her belief that a new HR leader will best drive forward the pace of change that adidas needs at this time. Therefore, it is with respect for her decision that we accept her resignation.”

To this, Rorsted added that Parkin had played a key role in the success and growth of adidas over the past few years, elevating and centralising human resources into a "world-class function", developing and leading the brand's People Strategy, and launching many "successful employee programmes," as well as in securing the health and safety of 60,000 adidas employees throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking ahead, Rorsted pointed out that building "a more diverse and inclusive adidas" would be among the priorities for the Executive Board and leadership team.

Lead photo / iStock
Karen Parkin's photo / adidas' website