Sports Direct's head of retail exits

The resignation was announced to senior store and area managers on Monday morning in a conference call, and took place with immediate effect.

On the departure, Ashley said: “The door will always be open to Karen if she wishes to come back to the business as a consultant. Karen has been a very supportive member of the team for over 28 years and we wish her well for the future. The focus of the business as we move forward remains our programme of brand elevation, one that we are totally committed to.”

A spokesperson also confirmed that Michael Murray will continue as head of elevation for the group and will not be replacing her.

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