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JD Sports agrees £5.5m deal for Peter Cowgill's exit

Sophie Smith
21 September 2022

JD Sports Fashion has confirmed that former Chairman Peter Cowgill will receive £5.5 million over the next three years.

For the period up until 25 May 2022, Cowgill has been paid his salary, contractual benefits and will be eligible for any appropriate annual bonus, which will be paid on a pro rata basis for the period he remained in full time employment.

For the period after 25 May, JD Sports has said it will honour Cowgill's contractual notice period of twelve months. Separately, the group's Board of Directors has reached agreement with Cowgill on two new arrangements, which it believes are in the "best interests" of the business and its shareholders.

The first arrangement will align Cowgill and the group's commercial interests, prevent him from working for or advising any of the company's competitors, and prevent him from soliciting any of its employees. Cowgill will receive £3.5 million over two years for this restriction.

The second arrangement is a consultancy agreement for an expected period of three years for which Cowgill will be paid £2 million. JD Sports said this agreement ensures that Andy Higginson and Régis Schultz receive his support and assistance in their new roles as Chair and CEO.

Cowgill stepped down in May 2022 after 18 years as the sportswear retailer’s executive chairman. His resignation came after the company was fined £4.3 million by the competition watchdog for exchanging information with Footasylum. Reports suggested that Cowgill had a secret meeting with a counterpart from the brand.

Andrew Higginson took over from Peter Cowgill as Chairman in July and Régis Schultz was announced as the group's new CEO in August.

Andy Higginson, Chair of JD Sports Fashion, said: "I am pleased that we have been able to reach this amicable and constructive way forward with Peter covering the next three years. Peter has hugely valuable experience built over 18 years which we do not want to lose and both Régis and I are delighted to be able to benefit from his considerable talent and advice.

"This caps off what, by any measure, has been a remarkable period of executive leadership by Peter who has been such a core part of the business's incredible success story to date. We are pleased to have settled the terms of his departure and more importantly, to have secured a seamless handover and access to his decades of experience, whilst best protecting our commercial interests."

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