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- The former COO of Yeezy says it’s a “smart move” for Adidas not to burn leftover Yeezy stock.
- Adidas said Thursday it’ll sell its Yeezy stock and donate profits to charities hurt by Kanye West.
- The company previously estimated that this inventory would cost it $1.3 billion in sales.
The former COO of Yeezy commended Adidas’ decision to donate profits from forthcoming Yeezy sales to charity.
More than six months after severing ties with Kanye West – also known as Ye – Adidas confirmed Thursday that it plans to sell these products rather than destroy them.
Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden said Thursday at its annual general meeting that it plans to “sell parts of this inventory” over time and donate the proceeds to charities that “were also hurt by Kanye’s statements.”
Udi Avshalom, who worked at Yeezy between 2017 and 2022, told Insider that Adidas is making a “smart move.”
“I think Gulden’s decision to donate to charities represented to those hurt by Ye’s comments is proper,” Avshalom, who is Jewish, told Insider.
Gulden said Thursday that Adidas has spent four months trying to find a workaround to the 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) worth of inventory from its now defunct partnership with Yeezy. He added that “burning the goods” was “not the solution”.
“I think it’s a smart move preserving the brand’s integrity and a better sustainability solution than the option I heard previously of burning the products,” Avshalom said. “I can see this something both parties would agree is the right thing to do. I applaud Adidas on this decision to ‘give’.”
Adidas pulled the plug on its Yeezy partnership in October as a result of West’s anti-semitic remarks on Twitter. Earlier this month, the sportswear giant chief said in its first quarter earnings statement that cutting ties with Yeezy was continuing to “hurt” the company. Sales in North America, its core market for Yeezy, dropped by 20% during the quarter.
Avshalom said he was “Ye’s confidant” when he first joined Yeezy in 2017. He became the company’s president of footwear in 2018 and its chief operating officer a year later before leaving in July 2022.
Adidas didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.