SHIREBROOK, England The chairman of troubled British retailer Sports Direct will step down next year if he does not receive the backing of independent shareholders, he said on Wednesday.
Speaking to investors at this year's AGM at Shirebrook, central England, Keith Hellawell, chairman since 2009, also said the firm was seeking to beef-up its board with new independent non-executive directors.
Earlier on Wednesday Sports Direct said its board, including founder and majority shareholder Mike Ashley, had rejected an offer from Hellawell to resign over failings in its employment practices.
Hellawell faces a rough ride from investors at the AGM. Several, including Legal & General, have said they will oppose his re-election.
He also told the meeting workers at Shirebrook who had been underpaid in the past had now been paid back in full.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, writing by James Davey, editing by Kate Holton)