JD Sports dismisses speculation it is looking to replace Cowgill

Peter Cowgill

JD Sports has dismissed press speculation that it is actively looking for a replacement for its executive chairman Peter Cowgill.

Following the publication of the sports and fashion plc’s annual report last week, in which it was revealed Cowgill had earned £6m in bonuses despite taking a 75% pay cut due to the Covid crisis, reports emerged that the company was ramping up succession planning.

In a statement to the Stock Market this morning JD Sports said Cowgill was looking forward to addressing the market at its second Capital Markets Day which, subject to any ongoing restrictions, will take place in London on Wednesday 13 October 2021.

It also said that it was not engaged in a process to recruit a new CEO or chairman. “JD can also confirm that it is continually reviewing the depth of its management team to ensure that the senior operational leadership team in the business has the necessary skills and experience to exploit the ongoing global development opportunities,” it said.

Cowgill, who has led JD for 17 years, added: “In conjunction with the senior leadership team, I look forward to welcoming investors and analysts to our second Capital Markets Day and to sharing our strategy and execution plans for the further development of JD over the forthcoming years.”

JD Sports has been one of retail’s winners during the pandemic despite forced store closures. Total revenue increased by approximately 1% to £6.17bn in the year to 30 January 2021, compared to £6.11bn in 2020.