Estee Lauder suspends senior executive over Instagram posts

An Estee Lauder cosmetics counter is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 19, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Estee Lauder Cos Inc (EL.N) has placed its executive group president, John Demsey, on unpaid leave due to content posted on his Instagram account, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Demsey was suspended after backlash over a post on his personal Instagram account that contained a racial slur and jokes about COVID-19.

Demsey did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment through Instagram and LinkedIn.

The executive's verified Instagram profile has over 73,000 followers and includes images on Estee Lauder's MAC Cosmetics and Clinique brands, as well as several memes.

Demsey oversees a wide portfolio of brands, including MAC Cosmetics, Clinique, Too Faced and Smashbox. He joined Estee Lauder in 1991 and has held several positions before the cosmetics maker named him executive group president in 2015.

In the filing, Estee Lauder said his suspension was effective Feb. 22.

Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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