Sports Direct names controlling shareholder Mike Ashley as CEO

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Mike Ashley (L), founder and majority shareholder of sportwear retailer Sports Direct, leads journalists on a factory tour after the company's AGM, at the company's headquarters in Shirebrook, Britain, September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Staples (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Britain's Sports Direct , the retailer trying to mend its battered image, named its billionaire founder and controlling shareholder Mike Ashley as chief executive after Dave Forsey resigned, it said on Friday.

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Sports Direct has recently launched a review responding to heavy criticism from lawmakers after it effectively paid workers less than the minimum wage, and by shareholders for poor corporate governance.

The 450-store sportswear chain said that Forsey would be replaced by Ashley, who will move to the CEO position from his previous role as executive deputy chairman.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by James Davey)