Mike Ashley to leave retail empire he founded: Sports Direct tycoon will stand down from Frasers

Mike Ashley to leave retail empire he founded: Billionaire Sports Direct retail tycoon will stand down from Frasers board in weeks leaving his son-in-law in charge

Mike Ashley is to stand down as director of the group behind mega retail brands Sports Direct and House of Fraser. 

Frasers Group said on Tuesday Mike Ashley will not be standing for re-election as a director at its annual general meeting (AGM) and will therefore step down from the board upon the conclusion of its AGM on October 19. 

Other brands owned by Frasers Group include Game, Evans Cycles and Jack Wills.

Ashley, the former CEO, handed the reins of his retail empire over to son-in-law Michael Murray last year.

Murray has long been seen as the heir apparent after becoming engaged to Ashley’s eldest daughter Anna.

The couple were married in a lavish multi-million pound wedding at Blenheim Palace in May this year. 

Mike Ashley will step down as director of the group behind Sports Direct and House of Fraser

Mike Ashley will step down as director of the group behind Sports Direct and House of Fraser

Michael Murray (right), who is  married to Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley's daughter Anna (left), took over the reins last year and Ashley is now expected to stand down as a director

Michael Murray (right), who is  married to Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley’s daughter Anna (left), took over the reins last year and Ashley is now expected to stand down as a director

Murray has carried out property deals for the businessman in recent years and overseen an ‘elevation’ strategy to modernise Frasers Group’s shops.

Frasers founder Mike Ashley said: ‘Since Michael Murray took over the leadership of Frasers Group earlier this year, the business has gone from strength to strength.

‘It is clear that the group has the right leadership and strategy in place and I feel very confident passing the baton to Michael and his team.

‘Although I am stepping down from the board, I remain 100% committed to supporting Frasers and Michael’s plans and ambitions, and I look forward to helping the team as and when they require me.

‘My commitment and support as a Frasers’ shareholder is as strong as ever.’

Mike Ashley

Sports Direct CEO Mike Ashley (right) leaving the Sports Direct headquarters in London with his future son in law Michael Murray

Michael Murray (pictured right with Ashley) has long been seen as the heir apparent after becoming engaged to the daughter of Ashley (left), who is estimated to be worth £2.7billion

Frasers chief executive Mr Michael added: ‘Mike has built an incredible business over the past 40 years and, on behalf of the board and the group, I want to thank him for all he has done.

‘With our new strategy and leadership team, we are driving this business forward at pace and we are all excited for the future.’

This is breaking news. We will bring you more information when it becomes available. 

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