Leahy's exit: A big event
Terry Leahy would be identified by most of his peers as the outstanding British public-company boss of his generation.
In his 14 years as chief executive of Tesco, and in his previous post as marketing director of the supermarket group, he - more than any other executive - was responsible for giving Tesco an apparently unassailable lead over competitors.
Today it may seem incredible that Tesco lagged well behind Sainsbury's some 20 years ago.
But Leahy and his predecessor, Ian Maclaurin, had the simple but devastating insight that Sainsbury had become too fixated on widening profit margins, and not sufficiently committed to minimising prices for customers.
Tesco aimed to maximise sales by creating an image of offering better value - "every little helps" as it repeated incessantly - and combined that with a far-sighted commercial policy of buying up as much development property as possible.
The result delighted Tesco's owners - with strong growth in sales, which of course meant that it wasn't long before it massively outstripped Sainsbury in respect of profit too.
In the process, of course, "Tescopoly" was also born - or the charge that the spread of Tesco outlets of all sizes all over the country was wreaking havoc to small shops, the traditional high street and the environment.
Leahy did not ignore the allegations. And took steps to reduce Tesco's carbon footprint - even while consistently claiming that it was misplaced to criticise Tesco for delivering what its millions of customers so obviously wanted.
For him, however, the rise to dominance in the UK was only a small part of the story.
The company was also unusual for a retailer and for a British outfit in successfully managing a huge expansion across the globe, from Eastern Europe, to Asia to North America.
And if there is something of a puzzle about the timing of his departure, it is that Tesco's establishment of an operation in the US - its Fresh 'n' Easy chain - is work in progress and remains a long way from profit.
Since Fresh 'n' Easy was widely seen as a personal initiative by Leahy, some may feel his exit is premature.
Even so, when he goes next year he'll have run this enormous show for some 15 years - much longer than is the norm for British public companies.
What will he do next? Well he says he wants to concentrate on private investment - which seems curiously unambitious for an intensely driven man.
The previous government made a number of attempts to enlist him to help improve the efficiency of the public sector.
It would be odd if the new coalition didn't woo him too - since a touch of Tesco productivity in certain state services would probably be no bad thing at a time when money is rather tighter for the Treasury than it is for Tesco.
He said this morning however that he had no wish to go into politics. Which was not quite a "no, nay, never" - though my personal experience of him is that he can be an immovable object, so it is possible that he will opt for anonymous retirement.