Keith Hellawell should step down as Sports Direct chairman immediately demands LGIM

7th September 2016

Fund manager Legal & General Investment Management has called on the chairman of Sports Direct Keith Hellawell to step down with immediate effect.

The firm has confirmed that just this weekend, Hellawell, the former chief constable of West Yorkshire, had offered to step down amid concerns about working practices at the firm, a falling share price and falling profits.

The sports retailer said earnings are expected to come in at £300 million for the year, down from a previous estimate of “between £380m and £420m.

Independent shareholders voted against Hellawell staying on as chairman at today’s AGM and he said he would step down in 2017 if he does not win their backing by then. However LGIM has called for his immediate departure.

Sacha Sadan, director of corporate governance at LGIM said: “Following Sports Direct’s recent report on its own shortcomings, as well as the large independent shareholder vote against the chairman’s re-election, it is clear the Board needs to enact significant change in order to earn back shareholder trust.

“At absolute minimum, we believe the current chairman should step down immediately and an external, independent appointment made to oversee management and protect the interests of all stakeholders – including employees, suppliers, and shareholders.”

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