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By
Reuters API
Published
Aug 5, 2021
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Mike Ashley set to step down as Frasers CEO next year

By
Reuters API
Published
Aug 5, 2021

Mike Ashley, British retailer Frasers' founder and biggest shareholder, will likely step down as chief executive next year and be succeeded by Michael Murray, the group's "head of elevation", it said on Thursday.


Flannels



"The board of Frasers is now in discussions with regards to transitioning the CEO role from Mike Ashley to Michael Murray over the course of FY22," it said.

"It is currently proposed that Michael Murray will assume the role of CEO on 1 May 2022."

Ashley, who founded the firm that was previously called Sports Direct in 1982 and retains 64% of its equity, will remain an executive director. The firm owns chains including Flannels and House of Fraser.

Ashley, held the title of executive deputy chairman when Sports Direct floated in 2007 until 2016 when he became CEO. Murray is the partner of Ashley's daughter Anna and is currently its "head of elevation".

That job has made him central to Frasers' strategy to modernise and go upmarket - the elevation strategy.

Ashley's long-stated desire is to make Frasers the "Selfridges of sport", emulating the status of the London department store.

"The board consider it appropriate that Michael leads us forward on this increasingly successful elevation journey," said Frasers.

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