Hibbett Sports, Inc. announced that effective Feb. 2, 2014, Mickey Newsome will transition from his current position as executive chairman and employee of the company to non-executive chairman. Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO, was also appointed to its board of directors, effective immediately, increasing the board’s size to ten members.

Joining as an outside salesman in 1964 when Hibbett had two stores, Newsome, 74, has since held numerous positions at Hibbett, including retail clerk, outside salesman to schools, store manager, district manager, regional manager and president. He served as president from 1981 through August 2004 and was named CEO in September 1999 and chairman in March 2004. He stepped down as CEO in March 2010. It now has 894 stores.

“It has been my life’s work and privilege to lead Hibbett Sports for the past 48 years as well as to bring many of the world’s leading brands to the communities we serve,” said Newsome. “The end of this fiscal year is an appropriate time for me to transition from my day-to-day executive duties to my responsibilities as non-executive chairman. I’m confident that the team, under Jeff’s leadership, will continue to deliver the growth, customer service, associate development and strong shareholder returns that we have all come to expect from Hibbett. I’m pleased that Jeff’s many contributions have been recognized with his appointment to the Board.”

Al Yother, lead director of Hibbett Sports, added, “On behalf of a grateful Board and over 7,500 associates, I’d like to thank Mickey for his leadership, commitment and vision. As part of the company’s ongoing succession planning, he has assembled what we believe is the best and most talented team in the sporting goods industry. From 13 stores in 1980 to over 890 today, he has led Hibbett Sports through a tremendous period of growth and exceptional standing within the vendor, landlord and investment communities. We are confident in the company’s continued success under Jeff’s leadership and I look forward to working with both of them on the board of directors.”