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Estée Lauder’s John Demsey on Unpaid Leave Following Instagram Post

Demsey has been place on unpaid leave, according to an internal memo.

John Demsey, one of the highest-ranking executives at the Estée Lauder Cos., has been placed on unpaid leave, according to an internal memo obtained by WWD.

The memo said: “Effective immediately, John Demsey is being placed on unpaid leave due to content posted on his Instagram handle. The content posted does not represent the values of The Estée Lauder Companies. As a company deeply committed to inclusive actions and behavior, and in line with our company policies, our employees and our leadership are accountable for upholding these values.”

The executive group president’s suspension came several days after he posted a meme on Instagram that contained a racial slur and joke about COVID-19.

An email sent to Demsey received an auto-response that read: “I will be out of the office starting February 23, 2022, with no access to email or voice mail.”

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He did not respond to requests for comment.

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According to a source, the Estée Lauder board met on Tuesday to discuss Demsey’s post.

Demsey, who joined Lauder in 1991, has been an executive group president at the company since 2015.

At one point, he oversaw a large brand portfolio, including Clinique, men’s skin care, Aramis and Designer Fragrances, Prescriptives, MAC Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Tom Ford Beauty, Smashbox, Rodin olio Lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Perfumes Frédéric Malle and Glamglow.

In 2020, Demsey’s role shifted to focus on makeup. He oversaw MAC, Clinique, Too Faced, Smashbox, Glamglow and Tom Ford Beauty.

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