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Britain’s JD Sports’s ousts executive chairman Cowgill

Stock Markets8 minutes ago (May 25, 2022 12:51PM ET)

Britain's JD Sports's ousts executive chairman Cowgill © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People pass a JD Sports store in London, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer, JD (NASDAQ:) Sports Fashion, on Wednesday ousted longstanding executive chairman Peter Cowgill, saying its internal governance and controls had not kept pace with the firm’s growth.

The FTSE-100 group said Cowgill, executive chairman since 2004, will step down from his role with immediate effect.

It said that following a governance review it had decided to accelerate the separation of the roles of chair and chief executive.

Helen Ashton, a JD non-executive director and chair of its audit and risk committee, will become non-executive chair, while Kath Smith, JD’s senior non-executive director and a former Adidas (OTC:), Reebok and The North Face executive, will become interim CEO.

JD said the process to recruit a CEO remains ongoing and a process will commence to recruit a new non-executive chair.

The company had said last year it would split Cowgill’s role as executive chairman and recruit a CEO in 2022.

“As our business has become bigger and more complex, what is clear is that our internal infrastructure, governance and controls have not developed at the same pace,” said Ashton.

“As we capitalise on the great opportunities ahead of us, the board is committed to ensuring that we have the highest standards of corporate governance and controls appropriate to a FTSE-100 company to support future growth.”

Last week JD raised its profit guidance for 2022.

Shares in JD closed down 6.1%.

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