May 4, 2017 / 12:19 PM / 5 months ago

Sports Direct's only female director resigns

A company logo is seen outside a Sports Direct store in Vienna, Austria, April 28, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

LONDON (Reuters) - The only female director of Sports Direct (SPD.L) has quit, dealing another blow to the British sportswear retailer’s corporate governance.

The firm, controlled by founder and chief executive Mike Ashley, said on Thursday Claire Jenkins had resigned with immediate effect from her position as a non-executive director.

Sports Direct’s statement to the Stock Exchange gave no reason for her abrupt departure and the firm did not immediately respond to enquiries.

Her exit leaves Sports Direct with just three independent non-executive directors, aside from Chairman Keith Hellawell, according to the company’s website.

Sports Direct has faced multiple challenges in the past two years. British lawmakers condemned what they called its poor working conditions and investors have criticised its corporate governance. It has also traded poorly.

Last month Sports Direct entered the U.S. market by buying two loss-making chains for $101 million, drawing criticism from analysts who said the firm should keep its focus at home.

Shares in Sports Direct, down 18 percent over the last year, were down 0.3 percent at 309 pence at 1207 GMT, valuing the business at 1.75 billion pounds.

Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle

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