Bill Millar’s investment advisory firm, Kohls Investor Relations, is calling for an “end to discrimination” against women.
Millar, the chairman and chief executive of Kohls, a large private equity firm, has come under fire for being the only man to have a majority stake in a Fortune 500 company and for saying last year that he believes women should not hold more than a quarter of venture capital funding.
The latest move comes in response to complaints that Millar has “inappropriately” targeted female investors, according to an email obtained by Business Insider.
The email, sent by the firm’s head of public relations, asks for an apology from Millar and other board members.
The message is signed by the company’s head office, and includes a photo of Millar.
The letter was sent to Millar by the former CEO of investment firm First Capital, who said in his email that Millard’s statements “seriously misinform” investors and “disclose an inaccurate portrayal of our industry.”
Kohls Investor Affairs is an independent company, and the letter to Millard is signed “with the help of” Millar, a reference to First Capital’s former CEO.
“You have been called an insensitive sexist,” the email says.
“You have not been referred to as a sexist.
Rather, you have been referred as a man.
In your statement, you stated that women should be given more access to VC funding.
However, in your previous company, you explicitly stated that you believed women should have equal opportunity in VC funding.””
As a result, we have decided to cease our relationship with you and your company,” the letter says.
The Kohls statement says Millar is an employee of the company and will not receive any compensation.
The company said in a statement that Millars “clearly has not met our criteria for inclusion on the board” and that the decision to remove him was made “based on his lack of support for women in our industry, the diversity of our team, and his continued misrepresentation of women in his past statements and public statements.”
“Kohl’s has no policy to prohibit individuals from engaging in public advocacy in their private capacity,” the statement continued.
“Kohl is committed to the inclusion and equity of all our employees in the investment community.
In light of this, we are taking steps to remove Mr. Millar from our board and our board members.”
Millar’s remarks about women were in an interview with CNBC on May 6, just days after the company announced a $5.4 billion funding round.
“I believe that women are not always the smartest or the most competent, and I think it’s wrong to treat them that way,” Millar said in the interview.
Millard, whose firm invests in companies including Amazon, Nike, Google, Facebook, and Intel, also said in that interview that he supports women’s equality and said that he does not “think it’s appropriate to call out or judge women who want to work with the company.”
Millard also said he believes the U.S. should ban discrimination against women in the workplace, and that women have “very high expectations” of men.
“It’s important that you have people who are committed to gender equality, and this is the highest-ranking position I’ve had,” he told CNBC in that May 6 interview.
“There are women out there, I have met a lot of them, and they are passionate about this.
They’re just going to do their best.”
In a separate interview with Forbes, Millar defended his past comments.
“Women are a part of our society, they’re not the only part,” Millard said.
“We all have to be mindful of the fact that the culture of the workplace is changing and that it’s important to be aware of that and have a conversation about it.
I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned.””
There’s a lot that we need to talk about in this industry.
The idea that we should be just a commodity and have to accept the fact we don’t have a voice in the workforce, is just so unfair,” Millars statement reads.
“The idea that you should be treated like a commodity is a very dangerous idea, because it really is.”
Millers comments come amid a backlash over what some women have said are sexist comments from male CEOs.
Miller is a vocal supporter of women’s rights, and has called for greater pay for women.
He also has called on women to be compensated more for the same work as men.
Millers remarks come in the wake of comments from former Apple CEO Tim Cook that “we should have a gender quota” in the tech industry.
Apple’s decision to increase women’s representation in tech has come in response the 2016 Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal that exposed widespread sexual harassment and misconduct in the technology industry.
Women’s rights advocates have also