JD Sports confirms boss Peter Cowgill is not stepping aside after media reports

Peter Cowgill

JD Sports has confirmed its founder and executive chairman Peter Cowgill is not stepping aside following media reports over the weekend.

The Sunday Times speculated JD Sports’ board was planning to appoint a new chief executive at some point this year to work alongside Cowgill.

The move would then see him eventually relinquish control of day-to-day operations of the retailer and move into a non-executive chairman role.

However, the group responding to the reports this morning confirmed the board was not looking to make new appointments.

It said: “JD can confirm to both investors and to its international brand partners that the Board is not engaged in a process to recruit a Chief Executive Officer 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.”

The speculation comes just days after Andy Rubin stepped down as non-executive director at JD Sports – a role he had been in for five years.

He will be replaced by Andy Long, the former chief executive and current executive director at Pentland Group – which has a 51.9 per cent stake in JD Sports.

Cowgill has been executive chairman of JD Sports since 2004.