Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey has resigned after 32 years and been replaced with immediate effect by Mike Ashley, the company’s founder and majority shareholder.
Ashley has until now held the post of deputy executive chairman.
A statement from the sportswear retailer said he will continue to be supported by the existing executive management team.
Head of retail Karen Byers has been promoted to global head of operations, while head of buying Sean Nevitt is now global head of commercial.
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.”
Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell 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.”