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Christopher Bailey pockets £4m in Burberry share sale

Bailey's total package including salary and share options is worth more than £27 million

Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief executive and chief creative officer, who was controversially awarded a £27m pay and perks package this year, has pocketed more than £4.1m from share sales yesterday.

He exercised the options on shares from previous years’ awards and sold a batch of other shares cashing in around £5.19m –part of which will be used to pay his tax bill.

Last month investors expressed their outrage at the 1.35m shares awarded to Bailey before he was named as Angela Ahrendts’ successor as they were not tied to performance. More than half of votes cast at the luxury goods group’s annual meeting were against the remuneration report.

But chairman Sir John Peace defended the share awards and pay at the meeting last month and said: “We were faced with competing job offers for Christopher which were much higher than his existing package.

"The board took the view that it was essential that we retain Christopher in the business. We know that the amount paid to Christopher is a lot of money, but much of it is performance related — which he will only receive if Burberry performs strongly. And we are acutely aware that he could command a much-higher package outside of the UK.”

Bailey, who has been at the brand for 13 years, retains 303,110 shares worth around £4.37m after the share sell off this week.

A Burberry spokesman said: "Christopher Bailey has exercised the option on a number of shares that he was awarded during his time as chief creative officer. 

"As part of this process, the number of Burberry shares he actually owns has increased.  There are only certain times of the year when board members of a public company can sell shares, which is why he is doing this now.”