JD Sports has hired former B&Q executive Regis Schultz as its new boss following the sportswear company’s boardroom overhaul.
The retail group named Mr Schultz as chief executive a month after appointing a new chairman following the abrupt exit of long-standing former executive chairman Peter Cowgill.
Mr Schultz will join JD in September from Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group.
The French executive has been president of retail at the company, which has operated partner stores for brands including Ikea, Zara and M&S in the Middle East, Asia and north Africa, since 2019.
Previously he also led French grocery chain Monoprix and had a number of senior roles at DIY group Kingfisher, including chief operating officer at B&Q.
It comes a day after JD agreed to sell its Footaslyum business for £37.5 million and incur a more-than £50 million loss after being ordered to offload the high street footwear firm by the UK competition watchdog.
JD Sports highlighted Mr Schultz’s “strong track record” of growing operations in international markets.
The sportswear retailer has grown in recent years with a number of international acquisitions including its majority takeover of Greece’s Cosmos Sports, and Shoe Palace and DTLR in the US.
Mr Schultz said: “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.”
The appointment comes after former Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson was named as JD Sports’ next chairman.
The retail veteran took the role after Mr Cowgill stepped down in May after 18 years as the sportswear retailer’s executive chairman.
His resignation came after the company was fined £4.3 million by the Competition and Markets Authority for exchanging information with Footasylum in February, amid reports that Mr Cowgill had a meeting in a car park in Bury with a counterpart from the brand JD Sports planned to acquire.
In May, the firm announced that Mr Cowgill was stepping down after a review of its internal governance and controls, deciding it also needed to accelerate the “separation of the roles of chair and chief executive officer”.
Mr Higginson said: “Regis 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.”