The London Economic is reporting that one of Sports Direct’s chief lieutenants resigned effective immediately yesterday.
Karen Byers has left the sports retail company after 28 years of service. There is no word on why she has made this decision.
According to the report, she was highly valued by Mike Ashley and said to “runs Sports Direct” as well as being “glue that holds it all together”.
Mike Ashley, proving that he can speak when it suits him, had this to say about Karen Byers:
“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.
“The door will always be open to Karen if she wishes to come back to the business as a consultant.”
We do not know if this was a surprise to Mike Ashley or if this departure has been in the works for some time.
The London Economic writes the following about her contribution to Sports Direct:
Her departure is likely to have a significant impact on the business, with current and former staff calling her a “workaholic” who rose through the ranks of the organisation.
We do feel that this is likely to shift Ashley’s attention even more away from Newcastle United. Sports Direct has always been his focus and was most likely the reason he bought Newcastle, to use St James Park as a billboard.
This could put the honus even more on Lee Charnely to produce this summer. And that is never a good thing. Though it is likely to have minimal effect.