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SOURCE: nypost.com 

Adidas’ top executive, Bjørn Gulden, has expressed his belief that Kanye West did not intend the harm caused by his controversial remarks about Jews. Gulden, who considers Kanye, also known as “Ye,” one of the most creative individuals globally, defended him as not being a “bad person.” 

Gulden, a 58-year-old CEO at the helm of the German-based apparel giant, expressed his regret at the company’s decision to sever ties with Kanye and discontinue their Yeezy partnership in the aftermath of the rapper’s antisemitic comments last year. 

“It’s very unfortunate because I don’t believe he meant what he said, and I don’t consider him a malevolent individual. It just came across that way,” Gulden shared in a recent episode of the “In Good Company” podcast. 

He also lamented the business loss resulting from Kanye’s comments, describing their collaboration as one of the most successful partnerships in history. 

Gulden’s remarks were reported by CNN. 

Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden weighed in on Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks during a recent podcast interview.dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images 

Gulden, previously a top executive at rival sportswear brand Puma, assumed the role of CEO shortly after Adidas parted ways with Kanye. This change came after the unexpected departure of his predecessor, Kasper Rorsted, due to shareholder dissatisfaction stemming from declining profits and earnings. 

Adidas faced various challenges, including the impact of the Kanye controversy, significant sales declines in China, and the scaling down of operations in Russia following the Ukraine invasion. 

Kanye, a multi-faceted artist, designer, and entrepreneur who once claimed a net worth of over $3 billion, had his partnership with Adidas terminated due to a series of controversial incidents and statements in the past year. 

In September, the Anti-Defamation League criticized Kanye for wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt during Paris Fashion Week. Later, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) took action against Kanye’s accounts for suggesting that Sean “Diddy” Combs was being influenced by a specific group and making concerning statements. 

On October 15, in a podcast interview, Kanye made unsubstantiated claims about George Floyd’s cause of death and criticized various entities, including “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists,” which led to the cancellation of his shows. 

Following these incidents, Balenciaga, a prominent fashion brand, cut ties with Kanye in late October. Subsequently, Adidas, under mounting pressure, announced the discontinuation of the lucrative Yeezy line, which had generated substantial annual revenue for the company. This decision reportedly impacted Kanye’s net worth by approximately $1.5 billion. 

In December, Kanye appeared on Alex Jones’ podcast, during which he made controversial remarks related to historical figures. This led to his suspension from the platform by Elon Musk, who had recently acquired X. 

Musk’s decision followed a tweet from Kanye featuring a symbol combining a swastika and a Star of David. As of now, Kanye has not issued a comment on the matter. 

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