Mike Ashley takes over as chief executive of Sports Direct after Dave Forsey resigns

Ashley will take over the role with immediate effect

Zlata Rodionova
Friday 23 September 2016 07:12 BST
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The company’s founder and majority shareholder will be in day-to-day charge
The company’s founder and majority shareholder will be in day-to-day charge (PA)

Mike Ashley, founder and majority shareholder of retailer Sports Direct, will take over as chief executive of the scandal-hit group following the resignation of Dave Forsey.

Mr Ashley will take over the role with immediate effect.

The management change comes after months of growing pressure on the company, which has been criticised for its working conditions and poor corporate governance.

In a statement released on Friday, Mr Ashley said: “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 announcement does not make clear why Mr Forsey has decided to leave the company after working there for more than 30 years.

Dave Forsey said: “I have given my entire working life to the company and in return the company has given me amazing opportunities and experiences.”

Mike Ashley reveals Sports Direct cleaning lady got £80,000 bonus

The news was announced just days after Sports Direct bowed to pressure and pledged to undertake an independent review of working practices and corporate governance.

The decision to undertake the review was made after independent shareholders rebelled at the retailer’s annual general meeting earlier this month, with 53 per cent opposing the re-election of Chairman Keith Hellawell.

MPs compared working practices at Sport Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse to a “Victorian workhouse” in a scathing report into working conditions released earlier this year.

Ashley, in his first TV interview since the release of the report, said Sports Direct had paid out £200m in bonuses during the past 5 years, claiming to have even given a cleaning lady a bonus of £80,000.

He also defended his use of private planes and helicopter while his employees were paid less than minimum wage.

Ashley said it would take more than a year to fix the problems at his company.

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