Justin King just sold £1m of Sainsbury's shares

Get out while the going's good, as the saying goes. The Sainsbury's CEO has got rid of a fifth of his holding.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 11 Apr 2016

If the departure of Sir Terry Leahy from Tesco has taught us anything, it's that shareholders freak out when chief executives leave supermarkets. Which, presumably, is why chief executive Justin King, who steps down in July, just sold £1m of his £5m-odd stake in Sainsbury's.

In an announcement posted on the stock exchange today, it said he had sold 319,919 shares at £3.28 per share, worth just over £1m. That leaves him with 1,282,190 shares, worth £4.2m at their current price.

When he announced his departure back in January, King said running the company had been a 'privilege', but that it's also 'relentless'.

'This was not an easy decision for me to make, and in truth it will never feel like the right time to leave a company like Sainsbury's,' he added.

Stepping into his frighteningly large shoes is Mike Coupe, currently Sainsbury's commercial director. Presumably everyone in the business has its fingers and toes crossed that Coupe's takeover will be smoother than Philip Clarke's...

- Justin King is one of the speakers at MT Live on June 25. Get your ticket - and your chance to quiz him - here

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