Mike Ashely has confirmed that he will step down as head of Frasers Group, as the business revealed its most recent full year trading profits, which showed a 84.1% decrease in pre-tax profits due to Covid-19.
The group which owns brands such as Jack Willis and Evan Cycles said that it is “currently proposed” that Michael Murray will assume the role of CEO on 1 May 2022.
Murray currently serves as head of Elevation at Frasers and has helped with “transforming the business”. His most recent projects include the new Oxford Street Sports Direct which opened in June 2021.
The potential boss is also engaged to Ashley’s daughter Anna.
Frasers Group said: “The group’s elevation strategy is transforming the business and receiving positive feedback from consumers and our brand partners, especially on projects such as the new Oxford Street Sports Direct which opened in June 2021.
“The board consider it appropriate that Michael leads us forward on this increasingly successful elevation journey.”
Frasers also noted that should Murray assume the CEO role, Mike Ashley would step down from the CEO role at the same time but would “remain on the board as an executive director”.
The leadership switch up came as the group revealed its profits for the year ending April 2021 were hindered due to highstreet store closures during the pandemic.
It comes as Frasers saw its pre-tax profits down 94.1% at £8.5m, from a profit of £143.5m the previous year. Revenues for the period also declined 8.4% to £3.63bn.
Mike Ashely said: “The group is continuing to invest in its physical and digital elevation strategy and our omni-channel offering is growing in strength.
“Our stores in the UK have reopened above expectations and our online channel continues to significantly outperform pre-Covid-19 periods. Nonetheless, management remains of the view that there is a high risk of future Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, likely to be over this Winter and maybe beyond.”