Estee Lauder Cos. said it suspended a top executive because of a post on his personal Instagram account that included references to a racial slur and the coronavirus.
The cosmetics company said in a filing Thursday that it had placed John Demsey on unpaid leave as of Feb. 22 for an unspecified duration.
Demsey serves as executive group president and oversees some of the company’s brands, including Mac, Clinique and Too Faced.
The Instagram post on Feb. 21 included a mock children’s book cover featuring Sesame Street characters. Demsey later removed it from the social-media service.
Demsey, reached by phone Thursday, declined to comment.
In an internal memo, Estee Lauder said that Demsey’s Instagram post “does not represent the values of the Estee Lauder Companies.” It added: “Our employees and our leadership are accountable for upholding these values.”