JD Sports Fashion chief executive Barry Bown has left the company after 30 years.
Making the surprise announcement on May 30, the company said: “With the leadership role of executive chairman having been in place since 2004, and the considerable development and strengthening of the company’s senior leadership team over the past decade, there will be no immediate replacement.”
Bown will continue to work with JD as a consultant.
A source close to the situation said although the announcement seemed sudden, the move had been discussed for “a couple of years” and plans for Bown’s departure had been “underway for a while”.
He also said there would be no change to the day-to-day running of the business as executive chairman Peter Cowgill already has a “very hands on role.”
Cowgill said: “The board thanks Barry for his valued contribution to the business. We look forward to his continued support.”