The chief executive of Sports Direct, Dave Forsey, has resigned from the firm with its billionaire founder and controlling shareholder, Mike Ashley, taking over with immediate effect.
Mr Forsey has been with the company for 32 years and has agreed to facilitate a "smooth handover of his responsibilities".
In a statement on Friday, he said: "I have given my entire working life to the company and in return the company has given me amazing opportunities and experiences. I wish everyone at Sports Direct well in the future."
The 450-store sportswear chain has faced heavy criticism in recent months over their "Victorian" working practices, with the move seen as an attempt to mend its battered image.
Earlier this month, Sports Direct announced it would offer casual retail staff guaranteed hours instead of zero-hour contracts, and following an internal review, will ensure all warehouse staff are paid above the national minimum wage.
Responding to Mr Forsey's departure, Mike Ashley said: "I feel like I have lost my right arm, but I do hope to have the opportunity to work with Dave again in the future."
The firm also announced Karen Byers has been promoted to global head of operations, with Sean Nevitt taking over as global head of commercial.