Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted addresses Nike's workplace issues.
Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted recently participated in an interview with The Oregonian to discuss a couple of scandals, including the FBI's probe into bribery in the NCAA, and Nike's ongoing scandal which has resulted in 14 senior-level employees leaving the company.
Amid Nike's workplace issues that have recently surfaced, Rorsted says that Adidas "have had hardly any instances at this stage."
"Setting a very clear tone from the top of what is acceptable behavior is actually the best way of governing an organization. Being clear about it, being transparent about what happens if somebody violates the cultural elements of who you want to be." He added, "We have had hardly any instances at this stage. It doesn’t mean we won’t have some. But the tone is very clear from the top, be it from Zion and Mark here in America or from me globally."
In regards to Nike, and whether or not those issues have impacted the way Adidas operates, Rorsted tells The Oregonian,
"No, it has not changed what we’ve done. I can’t comment about what’s going on at Nike. One must always to look into a mirror at your own face and ask yourself, “Are we treating people appropriately?” The reason why it’s important in a global company is this: In a global company, for most people the operating language is English, but it’s not their native language. So when you have a lot of people using their second language, there can be a lot misunderstanding going around. Sometimes it’s not deliberate. It starts with having a framework around culture and behavior."
According to reports, in an internal survey Nike employees have detailed a toxic workplace ripe with instances of verbal and emotional abuse toward women, including a boss who allegedly threw his car keys at a female employee while calling her a "stupid bitch" and another incident in which a current employee says she was forcibly kissed in a bathroom by a supervisor.
As a result of the New York Times' report in March, as many as 14 senior-level employees have left the company, including Trevor Edwards, president of the Nike brand, and Jayne Martin, Edwards’s lieutenant, who oversaw much of Nike’s global business.