A board member with one of the nation’s largest apparel companies that includes brands such as Timberland and The North Face has stepped down from her board position after damaging emails in which she called the Black Lives Matter movement “the true racists” were leaked on Friday, Sept. 3.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, VF Corporation announced that Silicon Valley investor Veronica Wu resigned from the board position. The firm is one of the largest apparel companies in the U.S. and owns Vans, North Face and Jansport, among other brands.
According to Axios, who obtained the documents, Wu commented on the announcement from her then-employer, who stated it would honor Juneteenth as a company holiday.
Last year, Congress moved to make the longest-running Black holiday that commemorated the end of slavery in Texas a federal holiday — to be recognized as Juneteenth National Independence Day.
Wu said she didn’t know about the holiday. Following further explanation and an emphasis that other companies were honoring the day too because of the country’s renewed focus on racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Wu said she was “particularly not supportive.”
She allegedly wrote, “I don’t believe in Black Lives Matter. If anything, I think they are the true racists trying to stir up things to make this country going to socialism or even communism potentially.”
VF Corporation launched an investigation earlier this year, found the emails and found them to be “legitimate.” They told the outlet that “Wu’s decision to step down from the Board was not the result of any disagreement with VF on any matter relating to VF’s operations, policies or practices.”
However, it wasn’t the first time Wu made remarks of that manner. While at Hone Capital, which stands by its zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, one of the firm’s former employees claimed that “She would say ‘the reason you don’t see African Americans in tech is because they’re lazy and don’t work.’ ”
Wu did not publicly release a statement regarding the incident.