JD Sports appointed Régis Schultz as its new CEO. Schultz was president of retail for Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group since 2019.

Al-Futtaim Group operates Ikea, Marks and Spencer and Zara under franchise agreements across the Middle East, Asia and North Africa.

Before Al-Futtaim Group, Schultz was CEO of Monoprix, France’s food and fashion retailer that is part of Groupe Casino where he launched and executed its digital strategy, signed a partnership with Amazon, concluded its first international partnership with Ocado, and concluded the acquisition of an online shoes’ pure player.

Schultz will join JD Sports in September, at which point interim chief executive Kath Smith will resume her previous role as senior non-executive director. Smith has been running JD Sports since longstanding executive chair Peter Cowgill was ousted due to issues with internal governance and controls.

Cowgill had held the executive position and managed the group since Barry Bown stepped down as CEO in 2014. JD’s board split the chairman and chief executive officer roles after a review found shortcomings in its corporate governance.

Last month, Andy Higginson, the former chair of supermarket chain Wm Morrison, was appointed non-executive chair of JD Sports.

Higginson said: “The Board has taken this opportunity to conduct a truly global search to find the right candidate to lead JD on the next stage in its development. Régis brings exactly the characteristics we were looking for.  He is a retailer through and through with experience across all types of retail formats. He has also delivered transformational change through digitization in a number of his roles. Finally, he has significant international experience, which will be very important as he works with me and our senior team to execute our growth strategy. We very much look forward to Régis joining us.”

Régis Schultz, CEO elect of JD Sports, added, “JD has consistently proven itself to be one of the most successful operators of multi-brand retail formats in the world. We are committed to going deeper in the international development of our brands applying our experience, executional expertise and further enhancing our market-leading multi-channel customer experience. I am very excited to be joining the Group and look forward to working with the team to deliver on the growth opportunities.”

JD Sports operates The Finish Line, Shoe Palace, DTLR, and JD banner in North America.

Photo courtesy Régis Schultz