Adidas CEO Doesn’t Think Kanye West’s Anti-Semitic Comments Were Serious
Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden thinks Kanye West wasn't serious when he made the anti-Semitic comments and nonfactual statements about George Floyd that ultimately got the rapper's partnership with the shoe giant terminated.
Adidas CEO Speaks on Kanye West Split
Last week, Bjørn Gulden was a guest on Norges Bank Investment Management's In Good Company podcast with Nicolai Tangen. During the talk, which can be seen below, Gulden was asked to speak on the fallout with Ye due to the rapper's anti-Semitic comments and strange behavior in 2022.
"I think Kanye West is one of the most creative people in the world," Gulden said at the 14:30-mark of the interview below. "He did some statements that wasn't that good and that caused [Adidas] to break the contract and control the product. Very unfortunate, because I don't think he meant what he said."
Gulden continued: "I don't think he's a bad person. It just came across that way. That meant we lost that business. One of the most successful collabs in history. When you work with third parties, that can happen. It's part of the game."
Kanye West and Adidas
Kanye West and Adidas' nearly decade-long partnership ended in October of 2022, in response to a whirlwind media run that saw Ye making numerous anti-Semitic comments in interviews and on social media. The move has had a big affect on Adidas' bottom line. Back in May, Adidas sold some of its remaining Yeezy inventory, leading to a $165 million boost in profits.
See Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden speaking on the Kanye West debacle below.