JD Sports Fashion Plc has announced that, as a consequence of an ongoing review of its internal governance and controls, it has decided to accelerate the separation of the roles of chair and chief executive office.
As a result Peter Cowgill, currently executive chairman, is stepping down with immediate effect. Kate Smith, currently NED and senior independent director, becomes interim CEO with Helen Ashton, currently NED and chair of the audit & risk committee, will become non-executive chair. The process to recruit a CEO remains ongoing and a process will now commence to recruit a new non-executive chair.
Helen Ashton, interim chair, said: “The business has developed strongly under Peter’s leadership into a world-leading multichannel retailer with a proven strategy and clear momentum. However, 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. 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.”