The salaries of bosses of large companies fell by 14% in 2020

An average drop of 14% in annual compensation for the bosses of the 120 largest listed companies in France: this is what emerges from the annual report of the firm Proxinvest which has just been published. This report scrutinizes what the great French leaders earn by taking their fixed salary, but also their benefits in kind, bonuses, actions etc. 2020 was a special year: with the crisis, the government had expressly asked them to reduce their emoluments.

In detail, it is not really their fixed salaries that have fallen (barely 4%) but rather the annual bonuses and bonuses, reduced by almost 27% on average. And for good reason, generally, these bonuses are conditioned by performance: they are only paid if the objectives of profitability and growth are achieved. And there, given the context, they could not be. Result: 15 leaders in the ranking did not receive any annual bonus. On the other hand, some are doing very well: this is the case of Alexandre Bompard, CEO of Carrefour, who pockets the biggest bonus paid last year … almost 2.5 million euros.

At the top of the ranking of executive compensation comes Bernard Charlès, vice-president and general manager of Dassault System, the world leader in 3D software. Last year, he received more than 20 million euros but it caused a stir in the general assembly. The second, with 17 million euros pocketed, is Daniel Julien, at the head of Teleperformance, specialist in call centers.

This study does not take into account the fortune, the patrimony, or even the dividends of the directors, this is why, for example, Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH is in the ranking but he does not arrive at the top: he is the richest boss but not the best paid. And the lowest paid is a woman. Stéphane Pallez. The CEO of La Française des Jeux won 403,000 euros. It should be noted that the remuneration of directors of companies owned by the State is capped at 450,000 euros.

This wage moderation of the big bosses should not continue. Most companies have already voted increases for their managers for 2021. This is the case for Vivendi and Total. The very good recovery of the economy, and the soaring stock markets allow them to do so without having to justify themselves too much.

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