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September 21, 2022

Cowgill return to JD Sports could aid “impressive outperformance”

Peter Cowgill, the former ousted executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion, is to return to the company as a consultant in a move analysts say will help the retailer continue its impressive outperformance.

By Michelle Russell

Cowgill stepped down as executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion in May after the sports retailer undertook a review of its internal governance and made a decision to accelerate the separation of the roles of chair and CEO.

In an update to the stock exchange today (21 September), JD Sports said it had reached an agreement with Cowgill for him to return to the company in a consultancy capacity. He will be paid GBP2m (US$2.3m) over the three-year period of the agreement.

The deal ensures new chairman Andy Higginson and new CEO Régis Schultz receive his continuous support and assistance as they transition in their new roles.

“I am pleased that we have been able to reach this amicable and constructive way forward with Peter covering the next three years,” said Higginson. “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.

“Having now separated the roles of Chair and CEO, recruited a new CEO who brings a strong international and digital track record, as well as locking in the knowledge and experience of Peter, JD is well positioned for a period of continued commercial outperformance underpinned by strong corporate governance.”

Apparel analyst for GlobalData plc, Pippa Stephens, told Just Style: “Peter Cowgill’s consultancy agreement with JD Sports will allow for a smoother transition following his shock exit in May and subsequent announcement of Régis Schultz as its new CEO. Having been at the helm of the company for 18 years, Cowgill will be an invaluable source of advice and information, aiding JD Sports in continuing its impressive outperformance.”

JD’s market capitalisation exceeded GBP12bn and reported headline profit before tax and exceptional items of GBP947m in the year to 29 January 2022.

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