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JD Sports denies Cowgill exit rumours

In a letter to investors the sportswear chain confirmed that Peter Cowgill, the executive chairman, will remain in his position

JD Sports has denied rumours that its executive chairman, Peter Cowgill, is leaving the helm of the retail group. 

The response follows speculation which arose over the weekend after reporters discovered a line in JD’s annual report which suggested that the group may be increasing its succession plans. 

On Saturday (29 May), The Times reported that JD Sports said: “Additional succession planning has occurred throughout the financial year following concerns relating to the single appointment of the executive chairman.”

Cowgill, who serves as both executive chairman and chief executive, told the outlet that he was “not going anywhere” and noted that investors are sometimes hesitant about one person holding both positions. 

Cowgill has been executive chairman of the sportswear group since 2004 and took on chief executive responsibilities in 2014. 

JD Sports 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.”

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