Noel ‘Bob’ Robbins has retired after nearly 40 years with Tesco the year after he controversially sold shares before its profit warning.

Business improvement director Robbins retired last Wednesday after a long career at the grocer which spanned a number of roles including Asian chief executive and head of Central Europe, The Independent reported.

Robbins was UK chief operating officer in January 2012 when he sold £202,000 of shares a week before the retailer’s profit warning.

Robbins made £44,000 more than if he had sold them on the day of the profit warning but Tesco said he had not been “in possession of any price-sensitive information”.

His departure comes after Retail Week last week revealed Tesco has made around 50 senior figures in the grocer redundant.

The departures included Tesco Clubcard marketing director Ian Crook and Tesco Mobile chief executive Roger Fogg.