Jason Gissing, Ocado

Jason Gissing has sold some of his stake in Ocado

Ocado co-founder Jason Gissing sold a £15m stake in the online grocer on the day he announced his decision to leave the company.

In a stock market announcement this morning, Ocado revealed that Gissing had sold 3,050,000 shares at 498.75p.

Despite the sale, Gissing still has the biggest shareholding of the Ocado directors.

He has a remaining stake of 2.56% in the online grocer, which is worth £79.9m, while co-founder and current CEO Tim Steiner has a £77m stake.

Before his departure was announced this week, Gissing also sold £3.3m of shares in August last year.

“If the business wasn’t firing on all cylinders, he wouldn’t be leaving”

Tim Steiner

After 14 years at Ocado, where he is currently commercial director, Gissing is stepping down at the Annual General Meeting in May.

Steiner said Gissing wanted to spend more time with his four young children and pursue his interest in environmental and social causes.

“He has been an invaluable partner and friend to me and I will miss his daily humour and insights,” he said.

Steiner told The Grocer that Gissing was leaving with the business and senior management team in good shape.

“The business is in a very strong position,” he said. “If the business wasn’t firing on all cylinders, he wouldn’t be leaving.”

There are no immediate plans to replace Gissing. Lawrence Hene, director of marketing and grocery retail, and Mark Bentley, director of service delivery, will take on more of his responsibilities.

Ocado shares fell on Tuesday after it announced a pre-tax loss of £12.5m, compared with a loss of £0.6m last year. They dropped 2.5% to 510p, but have since risen strongly to 539p at lunchtime today.

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