Mike Ashley takes charge as Sports Direct chief quits

Dave Forsey has resigned as chief executive of Sports Direct with Mike Ashley replacing him, the embattled retailer said today.

Mike Ashley said Dave Forsey's resignation was like losing his right arm. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Mike Ashley said Dave Forsey's resignation was like losing his right arm. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The firm, which this week bowed to investor demands for an independent review of its working practices, said Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, would be supported in his role by its existing executive management team, “and Dave Forsey has agreed to facilitate a smooth handover of his responsibilities”

Ashley said: “I feel like I have lost my right arm, but I do hope to have the opportunity to work with Dave again in the future.”

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Forsey added that he had “given my entire working life to the company and in return the company has given me amazing opportunities and experiences”.

Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell, who earlier this month offered his own resignation before agreeing to remain with the firm, said: “I would like to thank Dave for his significant contribution over the last 32 years and during a period of significant growth and change at the company. On behalf of all the people at Sports Direct I wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Sports Direct also announced today that its head of retail, Karen Byers, has been promoted to the role of global head of operations, while Sean Nevitt, head of buying, becomes global head of commercial.