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New JD Sports CEO ‘committed’ to international growth


JD Sports Fashion – the owner of fishing tackle retailers GO Outdoors and Fishing Republic – has appointed Régis Schultz as its new Chief Executive Officer to replace Chairman and founder Peter Cowgill, who resigned in May.

It is expected that Régis Schultz will join JD in September at which time Kath Smith will undertake a full handover of her duties during a short transition period. She will then resume her former role as Senior Independent Director on the Board. Cowgill left JD with ‘immediate effect’ following a review of the group’s internal governance procedures.

Schultz brings with him a wealth of retail experience as CEO, including of a UK-listed retail business, and across retail categories including home, fashion, electrical sporting goods and food. In particular, he has a strong track record of effecting transformational change through digitisation, driving multi-channel growth strategies and working across international markets.

He will join from the Al-Futtaim Group, the Dubai-based conglomerate which is partner to many of the world’s most high-profile companies across automotive, retail, financial services, real estate and health sectors, and where he has been President of Retail since 2019. The retail division has helped to launch and build world-class brands, including Zara, IKEA, Hugo Boss, M&S and Lacoste and operates in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa.

Andrew Higginson, Non-Executive Chair of JD, said: “The Board has taken this opportunity to conduct a truly global search to find the right candidate to lead JD on the next stage in its development. Régis brings exactly the characteristics we were looking for. He is a retailer through and through with experience across all types of retail formats. He has also delivered transformational change through digitisation in a number of his roles. Finally, he has significant international experience which will be very important as he works with myself and our senior team to execute on our growth strategy. We very much look forward to Régis joining us.”

Schultz added: “JD has consistently proven itself to be one of the most successful operators of multi-brand retail formats in the world. We are committed to going deeper in the international development of our brands, applying our experience and executional expertise and further enhancing our market-leading multi-channel customer experience. I am very excited to be joining the group and look forward to working with the team to deliver on the growth opportunities.”

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