By  on August 24, 2014

LONDON — Christopher Bailey, chief executive and chief creative officer at Burberry, sold 5.2 million pounds, or $8.6 million, worth of his shares in Burberry, according to filings on the London Stock Exchange.

The filing stated that Bailey exercised options to sell 211,904 of the 288,120 shares that were awarded to him in 2011, as part of the Burberry Group plc co-investment plan, and 73,547 of the 100,000 shares that were awarded as part of the Burberry senior executive restricted share plan 2004, granted to Bailey in 2009. The executive also sold 68,667 Burberry shares that he already owned last Wednesday, which will be subject to capital gains tax.

All the shares were sold at a price of 14.67 pounds, or $24.33 a share, amounting to 5.2 million pounds, or $8.6 million. A portion of the sale of the shares was said to have covered taxes, while of the balance, Bailey sold half and retained half. Bailey now owns 303,110 shares in the firm, an increase on the number of shares he owned outside of the performance-based share plans.

“Christopher Bailey has exercised the option on a number of shares that he was awarded during his time as chief creative officer,” Burberry said. “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.”

Since Bailey took up the role of ceo and chief creative officer of Burberry in May, his multimillion-pound pay package has come under scrutiny from investors and the British press alike. As reported, in May it emerged that Bailey could earn up to 10.3 million pounds, or $17.6 million, this year. At Burberry’s annual general meeting in July, more than 50 percent of Burberry’s shareholders rejected the directors’ report on Bailey’s remuneration involving the granting of 1 million share options that vested from 2015 to 2018 regardless of performance. But as their vote was a non-binding one it didn’t affect the remuneration deal.

Burberry’s chairman John Peace said at the time that in developing its remuneration policy, Burberry was guided by “delivering value to shareholders, ensuring business success and remaining competitive in the global talent market in the luxury industry.” Peace also noted that Burberry was faced with competing job offers for Bailey with “much higher” pay. “The board took the view that it was essential that we retain Christopher in the business, mindful of the huge value he has created and would create in the future,” Peace said at the time.

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