JJB Sports, the U.K.'s largest sporting goods retailer, announced Wednesday that David Whelan will step down as chairman of the company, but will be remaining on the Board in the capacity of Executive Director. Whelan (aged 68), who formed JJB in 1971, has been either
Chief Executive or Chairman of the company since its inception.
JJB floated on the London Stock Exchange in
The Nominations Committee of JJB, mindful of the major contribution that he has made to the success of
JJB over a very long period, has asked him to remain in the role of an Executive Director. Although David
Whelans role at JJB will be slightly reduced, he intends to maintain all his day-to-day contacts and duties and the
duties that he will relinquish will be those more directly related to his former position as Chairman of the
The Nominations Committee has also considered the appointment of a new Chairman and has decided to appoint
Roger Lane-Smith as Non-executive Chairman. Roger Lane-Smith has been a Non-executive Director of JJB since
1998 and was formerly Senior Partner and Chairman of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary UK LLP, one of the
worlds largest law firms.
Andrew Thomas, who has been a Non-executive Director of JJB since 1994, has advised the Board that he will
retire at the time of the 2006 AGM next year. The Nominations Committee will shortly commence the process of
selecting a replacement Non-executive Director.
“The promotion of Wigan Athletic to the Premier League will naturally demand a greater time commitment from
me as Chairman of the Club,” said Mr. Whelan. “Accordingly, it is appropriate that I cut back on my commitment to JJB, which is why I am standing down as Chairman. I am delighted that Roger has agreed to take over the role. Roger has an excellent understanding of the Company, and considerable experience through his time at DLA of leading a large business. I am confident that JJB will benefit from the leadership he will bring. Although my Board responsibilities will be reduced, it is still my
intention to remain heavily involved in JJB.”
“JJB is a wonderful company and I am delighted to accept the role of Non-executive Chairman,” said Mr. Lane-Smith. “The current trading environment is extremely challenging, but I am confident that JJB has the ability to adapt and prosper in the changing retail environment.
I am pleased, too, that the Board and the Company will continue to be able to draw on the huge experience and
retail acumen which David Whelan has brought to the Company over a long period.”