Journalist, SHP Online

September 23, 2016

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Sports Direct chief executive resigns

The Board of Sports Direct has announced that Dave Forsey resigned yesterday (22 September) as chief executive and as a director of the company, after 32 years at the retailer. The Board has appointed Mike Ashley as chief executive with immediate effect. 

This follows the company coming under fire over its working practices after it emerged that staff at a warehouse were paid less than the minimum wage.

Following investigations at Sports Direct, a Parliamentary summary said: “A spotlight has been shone on the working practices and business model of Sports Direct. What the spotlight revealed was extremely disturbing. Workers at Sports Direct were not being paid the national minimum wage, and were being penalised for matters such as taking a short break to drink water and for taking time off work when ill. Some say they were promised permanent contracts in exchange for sexual favours. Serious health and safety breaches also seem to have occurred. For this to occur in the UK in 2016 is a serious indictment of the management at Sports Direct.”

The company’s website said that Mike Ashley will continue to be supported by the existing executive management team, and Dave Forsey has agreed to facilitate a smooth handover of his responsibilities.  In addition, the company has announced that Karen Byers has been promoted to the role of global head of operations, and Sean Nevitt has been promoted to the role of global head of commercial, both with immediate effect.

Dave Forsey said: “I have given my entire working life to the company and in return the company has given me amazing opportunities and experiences.  I wish everyone at Sports Direct well in the future.”.

Keith Hellawell, chairman of the company, 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.”

Mike Ashley, chief executive, 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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