Estée Lauder said on Monday February 28 2022 that it had asked John Demsey, a top executive at the beauty giant, to leave the company after he posted a meme containing a racial slur on his Instagram account. Mr. Demsey, 65, was a powerful figure, and Estée Lauder has been under scrutiny for its diversity efforts. Mr. Demsey, an executive vice president at the company, oversaw a portfolio of major cosmetics brands that brought in billions of dollars in sales. Mr. Demsey was among the highest-paid executives at Estée Lauder, where his total compensation was valued at $9.6 million in 2021. Forcing Mr. Demsey into retirement, rather than firing him, may affect his stock awards and other compensation.