Veronica Wu leaves VF Corp board of directors amid controversy

Translated by

Ana Ibanez

Posted on

Sep 8 2021

VF Corporration, the Denver-based apparel, footwear and accessories group, announced on Tuesday Veronica Wu’s decision to leave the board of directors with immediate effect.

Veronica Wu – LinkedIn: wuveronica

The group stated that after Wu’s departure, the size of the council will be reduced from 12 to 11 members until a new director is found. The company, which owns brands such as Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Dickies, first appointed Wu to the board in March 2019.

Currently, Wu is a managing partner of First Bight Ventures, an investment fund she founded in April this year specializing in early-stage synthetic biology companies. He is also a member of the international advisory board of the IT services and consulting multinational Capgemini. Prior to that, she was a five-year Managing Partner of Hone Capital, a US venture capital branch of China Science and Merchants Investment Management Group, from 2015 to 2020.

According to a statement issued by VF Corp. “Ms. Wu’s decision to leave the board is not the result of any disagreement with VF on any matter related to VF’s operations, policies or practices.”

However, its exit comes as a result of the controversy caused by comments allegedly made by the investor in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The comments in question appear in leaked emails sent by Wu during her tenure as Managing Partner of Hone Capital and referred to on the US news website Axios in a report published Thursday. According to this report, the June 2020 email exchange implicates an office manager informing Wu that the company intended to proclaim a Liberation Day holiday at the company.

After the manager explained to Wu that several companies had decided to honor the holiday due to the growing focus on racism following George Floyd’s murder earlier in the year, the investor reportedly responded, saying, “I don’t believe in Black Lives Matter. If anything, I think they are the real racists trying to shake things up so that this country moves towards socialism or even communism. “

These comments clearly go against VF’s position on this issue. The company was quick to condemn Floyd’s death in May last year, and Chairman and CEO Steve Rendle sent a message commenting on all of the group’s employees.

“The virus behind the international lockdown has an official name: Covid-19. The virus that killed George Floyd and many other people of color has it too. It’s called racism,” Rendle wrote.

“Racism is not tolerated at VF Corporation. It has never been done and will never be done,” he emphasized.

Additionally, in February of this year, the company announced new initiatives aimed at achieving racial equality within the organization.

Neither VF Corp. nor First Bight Ventures have responded to requests for comment.

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