Belfast Telegraph

Sports Direct Keith Hellawell to stay despite shareholder revolt

By Rravender Sembhy

Independent shareholders have vented their anger at under-fire Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell, with 54% voting against his reappointment.

But the former West Yorkshire Police chief constable and government drugs czar will remain in place after receiving the backing of 80.92% of all shareholders, which includes Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, who owns 55% of the company.

Mr Hellawell has been accused by shareholders of overseeing a "catalogue of governance and operational failures" and his reappointment is likely to irk some of the group's investors, with Aberdeen Asset Management and Royal London having publicly opposed him prior to the vote.

But Mr Ashley said: "Keith has my full backing and will be continuing in his role on the basis that he has the unanimous support of the board.

"I note that many of those who voted against Keith have acknowledged that we have made positive progress since the AGM."

Yesterday's vote was triggered after more than half of the retailer's independent shareholders voted against Mr Hellawell's reappointment at September's tumultuous AGM.

Belfast Telegraph