Keith Hellawell Sports Direct chairman in sudden exit

( via – – Wed, 12th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

Keith Hellawell, the chairman of Sports Direct, is to retire from the company later.

The sudden announcement was made as the company prepared to hold its annual general meeting of shareholders.

A year ago, he was re-elected by wonly 53% of independent shareholders and said he would step down at the next AGM if he did not win their support again.

The former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police had faced criticism about the way the company was run.

The company, founded by Mike Ashley, said Mr Hellawell, who had been on the board since 2009, would retire at the end of Wednesday's AGM.

He will be replaced by non-executive director David Daly, who was appointed to the board last year.

The company has not yet published the outcome of the voting at its AGM, which was not expected to be attended by Mr Ashley.

Mr Hellawell said: “Having overseen significant improvements in the working practices and corporate governance of the company, which includes a refresh of the board, now is the right time for me to step aside”.

“I have every confidence that the group will continue to go from strength to strength. I have enjoyed the challenges of Sports Direct and the support of Mike Ashley, many major investors, members of the board and senior staff, and wish them much success for the future.”

Ahead of the meeting three shareholder advisory bodies are said to have advised investors not to support Mr Hellawell's re-election to the board.