Mike Ashley takes helm of Sports Direct as chief executive resigns

Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey has resigned his position as owner Mike Ashley takes over his role “with immediate effect”. The embattled sportswear retailer has announced that Dave Forsey will step down as chief executive and director of the business and be replaced by founder Mike Ashley.

The retailer said that Forsey “has agreed to facilitate a smooth handover of his responsibilities” to Ashley, who will “continue to be supported by the existing executive management team”. Sports Direct has also promoted Karen Byers to global head of operations and Sean Nevitt to global head of commercial with immediate effect. Forsey began his career at Sports Direct in 1999 as the UK operations director and has acted as chief executive and director for the retailer since 2007.

He said: “I have given my entire working life to the Company and in return the Company has given me amazing opportunities and experiences.” Chairman Keith Hellawell, who faced shareholder mutiny over his re-election at Sports Direct’s open day earlier this month, said: “I would like to thank Dave for his significant contribution over the last 32 years and during a period of significant growth and change for the company.” The retailer’s founder and newly appointed chief executive Mike Ashley added: “I feel like I have lost my right arm, but I do hope to have the opportunity to work with Dave again in the future.”

The controversial retailer submitted to an independent review of its working practices this month.

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