JD Sports appoints Andy Higginson chairman
JD Sports Fashion had big news on Friday as it revealed the name of its new Chair. Andy Higginson has been appointed to the role as of 11 July, following a long search.
The company said Higginson “is a highly experienced and proven retailer and Chair with over 28 years of continuous non-executive director experience on PLC boards, including senior leadership roles over nearly 15 years at Tesco”.
He replaces the man who built JD into the multinational retail powerhouse it is today, Peter Cowgill, who stepped down as Executive Chairman in May after shareholder pressure. But the search had begun some time before that with the company already bowing to pressure around its corporate governance. Best practice for UK-listed companies is seen as having the Chairman and CEO roles kept separate.
As mentioned, Higginson is hugely experienced and most recently held the same role at William Morrison Supermarkets from January 2015 until the takeover of the business by private equity firm CD&R last November. During this time he “oversaw a major turnaround of the business and significant value realisation for shareholders”.
JD’s Interim Chair Helen Ashton said: “The board was impressed with the high-quality candidates that we met throughout the recruitment process. Andy, however, stood out as the best candidate with his extensive board experience and his strong track record in the international retail sector.
“It is a testament to the quality and attractiveness of JD that we have recruited Andy to the important role. JD is a great business with a clear strategy, occupying a unique place in the market and we look forward to working with him on our global development opportunities.”
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