Prior to this, Pearson was group financial controller, having joined from EY as group financial accountant in 2007. 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 join the board.” Real Business previously reported that Mike Ashley, the founder and deputy executive chairman of the sport retailer, had been under fire from shareholders for failing to employ an FD. While Hellawell said Pearson was “perfectly placed to take on the additional responsibilities on an interim basis”, he didn’t explain further as to why the position is still a temporary one, after an 18-month gap since there was last a finance director in place. The previous FD, Bob Mellors, left in 2013 due to health reasons. Odey Asset Management, which holds a 5.2 per cent stake in Sports Direct, had earlier criticised the company’s 18-month delay in appointing a director. Shareholder Crispin Oden, who had been a backer of Ashley in previous years – calling him a “genius” – admitted to being “concerned” about the “ongoing delay”. Read more on finance directors:
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