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Estee Lauder fires John Demsey over racist Instagram meme

John Demsey, president of Estee Lauder Cos., speaks on the World Retail Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday, Could 8, 2009.

Mike Laburu | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

Cosmetics firm Estee Lauder mentioned Monday that it had pressured out government John Demsey, days after he acknowledged he posted a racist meme on a private social media account.

The announcement got here in a letter that was shared with its staff worldwide.

Demsey, 65, confronted backlash for an Instagram publish containing the N-word and a joke about Covid-19, which is now not on his feed. He was initially suspended with out pay. Demsey, who oversaw beauty manufacturers corresponding to Clinique, later apologized in one other publish.

“I’m so terribly sorry and deeply ashamed that I damage so many individuals after I made the horrible mistake of carelessly reporting a racist meme with out studying it beforehand,” mentioned Demsey.

An organization consultant mentioned he was advised to go away the corporate and that he agreed to retire.

Estee Lauder’s resolution comes as a part of an initiative to grow to be extra inclusive and equitable over the previous two years, in keeping with the letter. “Collectively we’re making progress towards our commitments to our staff, our companions, and shoppers.”

Shares of the corporate have been down about 1.8% at $294.94 late Monday morning amid a broader market selloff.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Demsey’s exit.

Clarification: This story was up to date to mirror that Demsey agreed to retire.

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