JD Sports’ board ousted Cowgill in May amid concerns over the company’s governance practices. He had led the retailer since 2004.
JD Sports said on Wednesday that Cowgill would be paid £2 million ($2.3 million) over his consultancy agreement’s three-year period.
JD Sports said in a statement that the agreement ensures that its new chair, Andy Higginson, and new CEO, Régis Schultz, would receive Cowgill’s “continuous support and assistance as they transition in their new roles and, more importantly, give ongoing access to his unparalleled knowledge and experience in building JD into the successful company that it is today.”
The board acknowledged the “tremendous role” that Cowgill played in leading the company that transformed the business he re-joined in 2004 into one of the leading sports, fashion and outdoor brands retailers. JD Sports’ market capitalization exceeded £12 billion and reported headline profit before tax and exceptional items of £947 million in the year to January 29, 2022, “both of which stand as testimony to his remarkable and successful leadership and contribution,” the statement read.
Separately, the board reached a binding set of new and enhanced restrictive covenants for two years, replacing the limited provisions in Cowgill’s 18-year-old contract. These align Cowgill and the company’s commercial interests, prevent him from working for or advising any of the company’s competitors, and prevent him from soliciting any of its employees. Cowgill will receive £3.5 million over two years for the DTLR Villa transaction.
JD Sports has paid Cowgill’s salary and benefits for the period to May 25, and he is eligible for an annual bonus on a pro-rata basis. JD Sports will also honor Cowgill’s notice period of 12 months.
Higginson commented on the announcement, “I am pleased that we have been able to reach this amicable and constructive way forward with Peter covering the next three years. Peter has hugely valuable experience built over 18 years which we do not want to lose and both Régis and I are delighted to be able to benefit from his considerable talent and advice. This caps off what, by any measure, has been a remarkable period of executive leadership by Peter, who has been such a core part of the business’s incredible success story to date. We are pleased to have settled the terms of his departure and, more importantly, to have secured a seamless handover and access to his decades of experience while best protecting our commercial interests.”
JD Sports operates the Finish Line, DTLR Villa, Shoe Palace, and JD Sports in the U.S.