JD Sports pledges further shake-up of boardroom pay after backlash

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JD Sports pledges further shake-up of boardroom pay after backlash over boss Peter Cowgill’s £4.3m bonus


JD Sports has pledged a further shake-up of boardroom pay after a backlash. 

The FTSE 100 company said changes will ‘further align executive pay with long-term interests of its shareholders’. 

It is still searching for a new head of its remuneration committee following the ousting of Andrew Leslie in July. 

Facing the music: Pop star Rita Ora in a festive JD Sports advert

Facing the music: Pop star Rita Ora in a festive JD Sports advert

As well as effectively sacking Leslie by refusing to back his re-election, nearly a third of investors voted against the company pay report. 

The backlash came after JD handed executive chairman Peter Cowgill, 68, a £4.3m bonus even after taking millions in Covid support from the taxpayer. Cowgill’s total pay reached nearly £5m despite a 75 per cent cut to his basic salary during the pandemic. 

JD said it has ‘received very positive feedback from shareholders in respect of the changes ‘. It added: ‘It is hoped that the support from shareholders for the remuneration report will increase once these changes are fulfilled.’ 

JD has appointed three independent directors: former Nike executive Bert Hoyt, former Asos finance chief Helen Ashton, and Mahbobeh Sabetnia, once of Amazon. 

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