Phil Bentley could leave British Gas with up to £13 million in salary, bonus, pension and shares, according to the Daily Mail. The paper criticised the potential windfall, noting that customer bills had nearly doubled during Bentley's reign.

His leaving package could include a year’s salary of £635,000, a bonus of £399,000 deferred from 2011 and a pension pot worth £3.6 million. Estimates of the value of his shares in the company ranged from £6.7 million to £8.3 million.

Centrica’s shares fell by 2.08 per cent yesterday to 333.9p on the news Bentley, managing director of its UK retail arm British Gas, was expected to quit in February or March.

He is believed to have fallen out with Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw over the strategic direction of the company.

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