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JD Sports will pay former chief at least £5.5m as part of exit deal

Peter Cowgill

JD Sports will pay former boss Peter Cowgill at least £5.5 million as part of his exit deal after he was ousted in May amid concerns over the Bolton company’s governance.

As part of the arrangement, former chair and CEO Cowgill is prevented from working for or advising any competitors to the sports chain and he cannot solicit any of its employees, according to a statement issued Wednesday morning (September 21). He will also be kept on as a consultant to support currentchair Andy Higginson and CEO Regis Schultz.

Cowgill will be paid £3.5 million over two years for the first measure and £2 million over three years for the second. He is also receiving his salary, benefit and bonus up to his departure in May. The company added it would honour “his contractual notice period” of 12 months.

Cowgill’s departure followed a series of regulatory issues for the brand where it was found to have broken competition law by fixing the prices of certain clothing items. It was also, separately, fined nearly £5 million by the antitrust regulator for sharing commercially sensitive information and breaching an order relating to its proposed merger with smaller rival Footasylum Plc. The Competition and Markets Authority said Cowgill had met Footasylum boss Barry Bown twice while it was investigating the merger, including once in a parking lot.

“I am pleased that we have been able to reach this amicable and constructive way forward with Peter covering the next three years,” Higginson said Wednesday. “Peter has hugely valuable experience built over 18 years which we do not want to lose and both Regis and I are delighted to be able to benefit from his considerable talent and advice.”

 

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