A group of Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. employees is asking to remove Ronald Lauder, a son of founder Estée, from the company’s board because of his support for President Trump.
The petition says during his time on the board, Lauder has donated at least $1.75 million in support of Trump, which stands in contrast to the company’s commitment to donate $1 million in the interests of the black community. “This total does not match, or exceed Ronald Lauder’s personal donations in support of state-sanctioned violence,” the petition said.
The letter is now on change.org, and had more than 1,200 signatures as of Friday morning.
The petition also asks that Lauder up its financial commitment to the black community, from the $1 million the company has committed, to $5 million.
Even with a decrease caused by the coronavirus, Lauder posted $3.35 billion in net sales in its most recent quarter.
In response to the petition, the beauty group issued a statement, saying: “Our employees are the heart and soul of this company. This week, several employees asked whether a single member of the Lauder family and our board represents the views of our company. The answer is ‘no.’ While we respect everyone’s right to make their own political decisions, no single individual represents the views of our company. As a company, we stand firm on the values in which we were founded: respect, equality and inclusion.”
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Internally, the company has circulated several letters, including a May 29 memo from its diversity counsel that acknowledged “what is happening now in black communities is causing considerable pain for many of our employees.” A separate note, circulated May 30 from Chris Good, president of North America for Lauder, condemned “actions rooted in bigotry and violence” and said stores would only open where staff safety could be ensured.
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