Tesco outgoing chief executive Sir Terry Leahy sold £3.3m shares yesterday in the retail giant he has run for the past 13 years.

Leahy, who steps down in March, disposed of 764,576 shares at a price of 432.26p each. Leahy’s remaining stake is worth almost £36.8m.

When Leahy took the helm in 1997 Tesco shares were changing hands for barely £1 each. Since then Leahy has turned Tesco into the UK’s powerhouse grocer, and spread its wings internationally.

The only blot on Leahy’s record is the US business Fresh & Easy. However, Leahy said earlier this month that the loss-making business would turn a profit by 2012.