Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, is the leader “highest paid in history”, according to Loïc Dessaint, responsible for governance issues at the consulting firm Proxinvest, guest Thursday April 14 from franceinfo. Proxinvest, which publishes an annual ranking of company executive compensation, is studying this subject “since 25 years”. “On average, in the CAC40, we are around 4 or 5 million euros. Here, we are talking about 66 million euros, it is 13 times more, it is absolutely colossal”explained Loïc Dessaint, based on the estimate of theThe management company PhiTrust, minority shareholder of Stellantis, which voted against the remuneration of Carlos Tavares which it estimates at 66 million euros, which a spokesperson for Stellantis denied, estimating it at 19 million euros. euros for 2021, “the rest” being only “hypothetical elements over the long term, until 2028”.
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franceinfo: With this remuneration, is Carlos Tavares the best paid French boss?
Loic Dessaint: It is even the highest paid in history. Proxinvest has been studying this topic of executive compensation for 25 years, and it is the highest paid in history. On average, in the CAC40, we are around 4 or 5 million euros. That’s already a lot of money as total compensation. Here we are talking about 66 million euros. It’s 13 times more, it’s absolutely colossal.
“The standard is, for example, not to exceed 150% of the fixed, for an annual bonus. Here at Stellantis, we are at almost 400% of the fixed.”Loïc Dessaint, head of governance issues at the consulting firm Proxinvest
It’s almost extraordinary, especially since we have an annual bonus of 7.5 million euros.
Do other countries pay their bosses even better?
By way of comparison, a big boss of an American company earns around 15 million dollars. We can find some abnormal situations like the boss of Tesla, Elon Musk. Conversely, the Japanese pay very little. In Europe, France is on average. The Swiss and the British pay a little more. The Scandinavians and the Dutch a little less.
We talk a lot about the good performances of the group last year, but can we talk about a deserved salary?
There is no reason for him to be paid much more than the top executives of Renault or TotalEnergies. Executive compensation is proposed to the Board of Directors and submitted for approval by the General Meeting. There, the particularity is that Stellantis is a company under Dutch law, not subject to a binding vote as is the case in France. France was marked by the Carlos Ghosn case, when the general meeting of shareholders of Renault rejected his remuneration. We had a democratic debate and we had concluded in France that it was not possible to maintain remuneration against the opinion of the company’s own shareholders. European law is more flexible than French law.
So there was an advisory vote. Lhe Stellantis executive compensation package was also rejected by 52.12% of shareholder votes, but that doesn’t count?
In France, in the event of rejection, Carlos Tavares would not have been able to receive his annual bonuses and all his action plans. He would only have the fixed amount, which is 2 million euros. Here, we are in the Netherlands, the law is different. But I salute the position of BPI, the public investment bank which sits as a director on the board of directors, and which rejected this envelope. It is a responsible decision. From now on, we must succeed in convincing the two other major shareholders who are the Peugeot family and the Agnelli family.
“The problem is that John Elkann, the representative of the Agnelli family, chairs the board of this company and that he too receives a stratospheric remuneration. 7 million euros for a chairman of the board of directors is a lot too much.”Loic Dessaint
We hope that things will move, that the directors will discuss with the shareholders to understand the reasons for this rejection and will modify the remuneration policy of Carlos Tavares.