Mike Ashley hands over reins at Sports Direct to his son-in-law

Mike Ashley hands over reins at Sports Direct to his son-in-law, making the 31-year-old one of the youngest CEOs in the FTSE 250

Next generation: Michael Murray with fiancée Anna Ashley

Next generation: Michael Murray with fiancée Anna Ashley

Billionaire Mike Ashley is set to step down from Sports Direct and hand over the reins to his son-in-law. 

Ashley, 56, chief executive of parent company Frasers Group, is expected to become deputy chairman, a report in the Daily Telegraph claims. 

His successor will be Michael Murray, who is engaged to be married to Ashley’s daughter Anna and who recently vowed to ‘rip up’ what Ashley had done in the 30 years since he founded the company. It is understood the 31-year-old would be one of the youngest chief executives in the FTSE 250. 

Murray has drawn controversy for £15m in fees paid to his consultancy over the last four years for property services. Shareholder advisory groups accused Ashley of running the company like a family ‘fiefdom’, but it said Murray’s cut of the ‘value created’ was justified. 

Ashley has been one of the High Street’s most colourful characters since founding Sports Direct in 1982. He has grown it into a £3.2bn giant. He and his family hold a 64pc stake. Frasers Group declined to comment.