Sports Direct has finally appointed a chief financial officer after a year and a half, but the position is only an acting role.

  • Sports Direct appoints Matt Pearson as acting chief financial officer
  • The role has taken 18 months to fill
  • The retailer had been facing backlash from the city over the delay

Matt Pearson has been appointed to the role of acting finance chief and will join the board from today.

Pearson joined Sports Direct as a group financial accountant from Ernst & Young in June 2007 and then stepped up to the role of group financial controller.

Chairman Keith Hellawell said: “After a thorough process and following soundings from leading institutions I am delighted that Matt has been appointed acting chief financial officer and is to join the board.  Matt is already leading our group finance team and is now perfectly placed to take on the additional responsibilities of this role on an interim basis.”

Sports Direct has been without a finance director since December 2013 after Bob Mellors, who held the role for almost a decade, stepped down for health reasons.

Earlier this year the retailer faced backlash from the city over its delay to hire a replacement.

Sports Direct’s third largest institutional investor, Crispin Odey, added to the mounting pressure on Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley by admitting the wait to appoint a new finance director was a “big concern”.

Odey warned that the lack of a finance director meant there was no one in place to question Ashley’s decisions.

He said:  “This puts too much power into one person’s hands. They have got to move quickly on this.”