Karen Parkin, the global head of human resources at Adidas AG, is retiring from the company following some employee complaints about the sportswear giant’s culture and lack of diversity.

“I have decided to retire and pave the way for change,” Ms. Parkin wrote in a memo to staff, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal. She wrote that she had always stood against racism and worked to create a more equitable environment, but “I recognize that the focus on me has become a hindrance inhibiting the company from moving forward.”

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