Blacks has raided rival Cotswold Outdoor for its managing director, a new role for the JD Sports owned retailer, Retail Week has learned.

The troubled outdoor chain has hired Cotswold Outdoor buying and merchandising director Ken Reeve to lead the business. Reeve joins the business on November 1.

The appointment of Reeve, who has been at Lion Capital-owned Cotswold for 11 years, follows the departure of former chief executive Julia Reynolds, who departed the business earlier this year after nine months in the role.

JD chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We are confident that this is a positive appointment which strengthens the management team and confirms our commitment to the development of the Blacks retail business.  All other positions remain unchanged.”

Blacks, which JD acquired out of administration for £20m in January, is expected to report operating losses of £10m in the group’s financial year ending January 2013, with the potential for a further £5m charge for restructuring.

JD is in the process of restructuring Blacks’ 200-store portfolio. It has already closed more than 80 stores across its Blacks and Millets chains.

Prior to his time at Cotswold, Reeve was head of merchandising, production and logistics at Thomas Pink. He started his career at The Burton Group.