The Austrian company behind Red Bull energy drinks reportedly fired two top executives in its North American segment over internal strife about how to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Red Bull GmbH told The Wall Street Journal last week that it had replaced Stefan Kozak, its North America chief executive, and Amy Taylor, its North America president and chief marketing officer.
Taylor had been heading diversity and inclusion efforts with Kozak’s support for several years, according to the report. However, her efforts faced internal opposition when she pushed for the company to promote racial justice, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
THOUSANDS TO WALK OFF JOB TO PROTEST RACIAL INEQUALITY
Another executive is also leaving the company in the wake of a presentation given at a meeting in Detroit which included a racist slide, Business Insider reported. That executive, Florian Klaass, was Red Bull’s head of global culture marketing and had approved the slide, which showed a map labeled with stereotypes, according to the report.
Someone leaked the slide and an internal letter signed by hundreds of employees criticizing the company’s response to protests against racism, according to the report.
Kozak and Taylor may have been fired in “retaliation” for the leak, BI reported, citing insiders.
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Red Bull’s board told the Journal that it rejects racism “in every form.”
“Red Bull has always put people and their dreams and accomplishments at its core and values the contribution of each and every person – no matter who they are,” the board told the Journal in a statement. “We want everyone who feels this way to be welcome in Red Bull.”
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