On October 25, 2022, adidas ended its lucrative business partnership with Kanye West (under which it sold shoes designed by West under the brand name “Yeezy”) as a result of his anti-Semitic rhetoric.
On November 27, 2022, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Adidas Top Executives Discussed Risk of Staff’s ‘Direct Exposure’ to Kanye West Years Ago.” According to the article, as early as 2018, adidas executives discussed ending the business partnership with West as a result of his behavior. Reportedly adidas feared continuing the relationship with West, as they feared it could “blow up” at any moment. The article added that West made anti-Semitic statements in front of adidas staff, and that he told adidas staff that he was considering naming an album after Adolf Hitler.
On February 9, 2023 adidas announced that “while the company continues to review future options for the utilization of its Yeezy inventory, this guidance already accounts for the significant adverse impact from not selling the existing stock. This would lower revenues by around € 1.2 billion and operating profit by around € 500 million this year.” Further, “should the company irrevocably decide not to repurpose any of the existing Yeezy product going forward, this would result in the write-off of the existing Yeezy inventory and would lower the company’s operating profit by an additional € 500 million this year. In addition, adidas expects one-off costs of up to € 200 million in 2023. These costs are part of a strategic review the company is currently conducting aimed at reigniting profitable growth as of 2024. If all these effects were to materialize, the company would expect to report an operating loss of € 700 million in 2023.” adidas’ CEO stated, “[t]he numbers speak for themselves. We are currently not performing the way we should[.]”
As a result of these adverse disclosures the price of Adidas securities have fallen, damaging investors.