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Adidas CEO Clears the Air: Kanye West's Remarks Not Intended to Be Antisemitic

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Adidas CEO Defends Kanye West's Antisemitic Remarks

Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden has come to the defense of Kanye West, formerly known as Kanye West, stating that he believes the controversial artist did not intend his antisemitic remarks. Adidas terminated its partnership with West in October 2022 after he sparked outrage with erratic social media posts, including a tweet calling for "death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE." Gulden addressed the scandal, acknowledging that West made statements that were not favorable. However, he expressed his belief that West did not mean what he said and should not be viewed as a bad person. Gulden also praised West's creativity, referring to him as one of the most innovative individuals in music and street culture.

Rebuilding the Brand and Addressing the Fallout

Gulden, who previously held a leadership position at rival company Puma, was appointed as CEO of Adidas in 2022 to restore the brand's reputation following the controversy. In an effort to address the situation, Gulden announced in May that Adidas would sell unsold Yeezy merchandise and donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations fighting against racism and antisemitism.

The Impact on Adidas and Sales of Yeezy Stocks

The scandal surrounding West's remarks has had a significant financial impact on Adidas, resulting in substantial lost sales. However, strong sales of Yeezy stocks have helped mitigate the projected full-year loss for the company.

The Risks of Collaborating with Celebrities

Gulden highlighted the inherent dangers of working with celebrity collaborators, acknowledging that such controversies can arise when partnering with third parties. He emphasized that these risks are part of the game in the industry. In conclusion, Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden's defense of Kanye West's antisemitic remarks sheds light on the complexities of working with high-profile individuals. While Adidas faced significant challenges and financial consequences due to the controversy, Gulden's efforts to rebuild the brand and address the fallout demonstrate the company's commitment to combating racism and antisemitism.

Conclusion: The Implications of Celebrity Controversies for New Businesses

The controversy surrounding Kanye West and Adidas offers a "hot take" on the potential implications for new businesses collaborating with high-profile individuals.

Managing Public Relations and Brand Image

The Adidas CEO's defense of Kanye West underscores the importance of managing public relations and maintaining a positive brand image. New businesses must be prepared to address controversies that could potentially damage their reputation and customer relationships.

Addressing Controversies and Demonstrating Corporate Responsibility

Gulden's decision to sell unsold Yeezy merchandise and donate a portion of the proceeds to anti-racism and antisemitism organizations shows how businesses can turn a negative situation into an opportunity to demonstrate corporate responsibility. This could be a valuable strategy for new businesses facing similar challenges.

Understanding the Risks of Celebrity Collaborations

Gulden's remarks on the risks of collaborating with celebrities serve as a reminder for new businesses. While celebrity partnerships can offer significant benefits, they can also pose risks that businesses must be prepared to handle. In conclusion, the controversy surrounding Kanye West and Adidas provides valuable insights for new businesses. Managing public relations, addressing controversies responsibly, and understanding the risks of celebrity collaborations are crucial considerations for new businesses aiming for long-term success.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/20/adidas-ceo-kanye-west-didnt-mean-antisemitic-remarks.html
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