JD Sports names Regis Schultz as CEO, as Footasylum debacle closes

British sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion has appointed Al-Futtaim’s president of retail, Regis Schultz, as its new CEO, after announcing selling footwear chain Footasylum and its associated subsidiaries to Aurelius Group for US$45.93 million. 

Schultz will start his new role at JD Sports this September, succeeding Kath Smith, who will later resume her former role as a senior independent director on the board. 

Schultz has held the president of retail role at the Dubai-based conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group since 2019. The division has helped brands such as Zara, Ikea, Hugo Boss, M&S and Lacoste establish and expand in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa. 

“He has a strong track record of effecting transformational change through digitisation, driving multi-channel growth strategies and working across international markets,” JD Sports said in a statement. 

Prior to Al-Futtaim, he also worked at France’s food and fashion retailer Monoprix as chairman and CEO, overseeing the company’s digital strategy, partnership with Amazon, and the first international partnership with Ocado. 

“Regis brings exactly the characteristics we were looking for,” said Andrew Higginson, recently-appointed non-executive chair of JD Sports. “He is a retailer through and through with experience across all types of retail formats. He has also delivered transformational change through digitisation 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.”

JD Sports was forced to sell Footasylum after breaching competition regulations in the UK. Having bought the business in 2019 for $ 109 million (£90 million), the company has recorded a loss of $63 million on the chain.

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