Mike Ashley appointed Sports Direct CEO as Dave Forsey quits with immediate effect

Jake Cordell
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Sports Direct Founder Faces Commons Select Committee Over Working Conditions
Mike Ashley will be, officially, taking over the running of Sports Direct (Source: Getty)

Mike Ashley has taken over as chief executive of Sports Direct after Dave Forsey quit his role at the top of the scandal-hit company yesterday.

Shares in the company were up 4.5 per cent mid-morning.

Ashley will take over the role with immediate effect, with Forsey set to sever all ties with the company after a short handover period.

Announcing the news this morning, Forsey said: "I have given my entire working life to the company and in return the company has given me amazing opportunities and experiences. I wish everyone at Sports Direct well in the future."

Read more: Here's everything that's happened at Sports Direct over the past year

Mike Ashley added: "I feel like I have lost my right arm, but I do hope to have the opportunity to work with Dave again in the future."

The company has barely been out of the headlines this year following an investigation at the end of 2015 into violations of employment law at the firm's Shirebrook factory.

MPs subsequently described working conditions in the Sports Direct warehouse as similar to that of a "Victorian workhouse".

Ashley has pledged to clean up the company and recently held an open day at the factory for investors and journalists.

Read more: Who's who at Sports Direct

He has appointed an independent company to oversee a review of working practices, after initially handing the role to Sports Direct's own law firm, raising questions about how committed Ashley was to the reform process.

That event, however, was also overshadowed by the ongoing Ashley saga, as the Sports Direct founder unveiled a wad of £50 notes as he went through security, telling cameras: "I've been to the casino".

Earlier this week he also admitted that he had no idea what was going on in parts of his company.

The company's share price has collapsed from nearly 800p to 285p over the past year, with Ashley, as majority shareholder, seeing his paper fortune shrink as a result.

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