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JD Sports appoints ex-Morrisons chairman following Peter Cowgill's exit

Tom Shearsmith
08 July 2022

JD Sports has confirmed former Morrisons boss Andrew Higginson will take over from Peter Cowgill as its new Chairman, effective 11 July.

Cowgill stepped down in May 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 in February, amid reports that Cowgill had a secret meeting with a counterpart from the brand JD Sports planned to acquire.

In May, the company announced that Cowgill was stepping down after a review of its internal governance and controls, deciding it also needed to accelerate the “separation of the roles of chair and CEO”.

Former Reebok and Adidas executive Kath Smith has temporarily been appointed CEO as the group continues the reshuffle of it leadership team.

Commenting on the appointment, Helen Ashton, interim Chair, said: “The Board was impressed with the high-quality candidates that we met throughout the recruitment process. Andy, however, stood out as the best candidate with his extensive Board experience including as a Chair and his strong track record in the international retail sector. It is a testament to the quality and attractiveness of JD that we have recruited Andy to the important role of Chair. JD is a great business with a clear strategy, occupying a unique place in the market and we look forward to working with him on our global development opportunities.”

Andrew Higginson added: “Having closely followed JD’s success over the years, I see it as an exceptional business, with a strong strategic position. The Board has clearly been addressing its governance and risk management structure and I very much look forward to working with the Board and the senior management team, including our new CEO once appointed, to bring my experience to bear and capitalise on the strength of the brands, market positions and channels to market including the global retail store network.”

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