Asked about the remuneration that the executive president of the automotive group Stellantis Carlos Tavares should receive for the year 2021, Emmanuel Macron, guest of “Presidential Mornings” this Friday April 15 on FranceInfo, he responded that he found it “shocking and excessive”, then unfolded an argument on the theme of social justice and shared added value, while acknowledging the need for a ceiling on very high wages
The journalist Marc Fauvelle had posed the question to the President of the Republic and candidate for his re-election on April 24:
“On the remuneration of Carlos Tavares, head of Stellantis, 19 million euros planned for the year 2021… The shareholders said no during a vote at the general meeting but they do not have the power to block this remuneration… Does the figure surprises you?
“Obviously, and I think we’re all in the same situation: either we say to ourselves ‘why not me’, or we say to ourselves that it’s inadmissible… and, finally, it’s shocking, it’s excessive…”, Emmanuel Macron replied.
Marc Fauvelle immediately recovered with a question intended to get the candidate to react to his program: “So, what are you doing? “
Emmanuel Macron began by establishing the limits of political power versus commercial law:
“It is very simple, the State in the strict sense is not a shareholder of the company, and yes, the Public Investment Bank also opposed this remuneration, but the great difficulty of all these issues that outrage is that they have to be addressed in Europe, because Stellantis has its board of directors and its government in the Netherlands.
The risk that “society, at some point, explodes”
The performance of the year 2021 having been exceptional, the general director, Carlos Tavares, should finally receive a total of 19 million euros for the year. For the record, in 2021, Carlos Tavares’ total remuneration amounts to 66 million euros. In detail, it consists of a fixed part of 19 million euros, to which bonuses, the free share plan and long-term remuneration are added.
Wanting to be an engine to lead this fight aimed at avoiding “abusive” remuneration, the President of the Republic explained on the one hand that it had to be addressed at a European level for it to be effective – which would take time – and insisted on the risk of explosion social if the subject was not treated at all:
“We must put ceilings and have a governance for our Europe that makes things acceptable, otherwise society, at some point, explodes. People cannot have purchasing power problems (…) and see these sums”He explained.
“What we have to be able to do is, as we did with the minimum tax and the fight against evasion, to convince our European partners to make a reform that allows us to control the remuneration of our directors”accurate.
In France, in companies, a pact on the distribution of added value
At a Franco-French level, Emmanuel Macron also wants to “change the pact to share added value in the company.”
“When we pay shareholders, we must pay employees through profit sharing. participation and/or for the purchasing power bonus”, he added, citing a measure of his project aimed at increasing Macron’s bonus to 6,000 euros.
On BFMTV, presidential election challenger Marine Le Pen also reacted, proposing to “bring in employees as shareholders”:
“Of course it’s shocking, It is even more shocking when it is business leaders who have put their company in difficulty”, reacted the other finalist Marine Le Pen, on BFMTV. “But I believe that one of the means to mitigate these remunerations that are not proportional to economic life, may be precisely to incorporate employees as shareholders,” added the RN candidate.
Gathered in a virtual general meeting, the majority of Stellantis shareholders voted, in an advisory capacity, against the manufacturer’s salary policy that pays its managers according to their performance. They had approved it at the beginning of 2021 when the group was born, the result of the merger of Peugeot-Citroën-Opel (PSA) and Fiat-Chrysler (FCA).
(with AFP and Reuters)