Adidas HR Chief To Depart This Month

Adidas HR Chief To Depart This Month

Adidas AG reported that Amanda Rajkumar, executive board member and labor director of Adidas, responsible for global human resources, people and culture, informed the company’s Supervisory Board that she would not renew her contract, which expires in December 2023 and is leaving the company on July 15. Adidas provided no reason for Rajkumar’s decision.

Rajkumar’s exit is the latest among Adidas AG’s senior executives since Bjørn Gulden became CEO at the start of 2023, including the departure of chief sales officer and 30-year Adidas veteran Roland Auschel in March. Adidas’ head of brands Brian Grevy also resigned when Gulden assumed the position.

Rajkumar joined Adidas in 2021 after employee complaints over racism led to the exit of Karen Parkin, former global head of HR. She had previously worked for BNP Paribas for over 11 years.

Sources told The Financial Times, “She had a falling out with Gulden over governance issues and HR priorities after the chief executive demanded a more direct say in HR matters. One of the sources added that “the two had also clashed over the HR budget and the chief executive’s management style, which he described as ‘chaotic’ in an internal town hall.”

The Financial Times also reported that Rajkumar had been Adidas’ only female executive board member, and her departure follows several exits of senior female managers from Adidas, including the head of global marketing Vicky Free, the head of global retail Nicole Ghezali and the general manager of specialist sports, Céline Del Genes.

In its statement, Adidas said its Supervisory Board had accepted Rajkumar’s decision and agreed to terminate her appointment as an Executive Board member effective July 15, 2023.

Thomas Rabe, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Adidas AG, said: “On behalf of the Supervisory Board, I would like to thank Amanda for her outstanding contribution. Under her leadership, we made great progress in fostering a deeper culture of inclusion and creating better leadership accountability. In a period of transition for the company, Amanda put our people at the center of her work and ensured that Adidas continuously obtained top positions in employer rankings around the world. With the professionalization of the HR function over the last years, overall employee engagement has increased. We accept Amanda’s resignation with respect for her achievements and wish her all the best for her future endeavors.”

Rajkumar said: “I would like to thank the Board and my colleagues for what have been very inspiring years at Adidas. I am proud of what we have achieved, and I wish Bjørn, my colleagues in the Board and, above all, my team all the best as they continue to successfully transform this iconic company.”

Michelle Robertson, SVP of workplaces and global functions at Adidas, will assume interim responsibility for global human resources, people and culture, reporting to Gulden.