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Sir David Jones steps down as JJB chairman

JJB Sports chairman Sir David Jones is to step down from his role at the sportswear retailer due to ill health.

Jones, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1982, will remain as a non-executive director of the company. John Clare, the retailer’s senior independent director, will become acting chairman until a permanent appointment is made.

Incoming chief executive Keith Jones will take over many of Jones’s responsibilities when he takes up his position on March 1.

JJB reported like-for-like sales for the year to January 24 slumped 28%. Total group revenue for the period was 51% down.

Since the half year, the retailer said like-for-like sales improved from a year-on-year drop of 37% in August to a drop of 21% in January. It said its Sale ran longer this year because of the snow, and sales online in January increased by 28% on a like-for-like basis.

The retailer reiterated that lack of new stock damaged sales. It said its stock position is improving with new spring ranges received and further deliveries due in the coming months. It is on target to be fully stocked by April 2010.

The JJB board also said David Adams and Sir Matthew Pinsent will join as non-executive directors. Adams is currently executive chairman of both Moss Bros and Jessops, while Pinsent had a distinguished rowing career winning four Olympic gold medals, and is now a broadcaster.

Jones joined JJB in 2007, and is renowned for turning around Next. He became embroiled in scandal at JJB over a loan to Mike Ashley at competitor Sports Direct.

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