Stellantis: Tavares’ remuneration increases further, at the risk of reigniting the controversy

Carlos Tavares, the boss of Stellantis, at the Consumer Electric Show (CES) in Las Vegas, on January 5, 2023 in Nevada (AFP/Archives/Robyn BECK)

The remuneration of Carlos Tavares, the boss of Stellantis, increased further in 2022, riding on the excellent results of the automotive group, at the risk of reviving the debate on the salaries of CAC40 leaders.

It could thus eventually reach 23.5 million euros for last year, if it meets the objectives set for 2025, the company announced on Saturday in its annual financial report.

For 2021, this amount should amount to 19 million euros, according to these same calculations including long-term bonuses paid over several years.

The automotive group, resulting from the merger in 2021 of Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat-Chrysler, is coming out of an exceptional second year with a record net profit of 16.8 billion euros.

Despite declining sales volumes, particularly in Europe, it was able to defend its margins by raising the prices of its cars.

The announcement of the remuneration of its Portuguese managing director comes as some of the group’s unions judged that the 2 billion euros in bonuses distributed to the 264,000 employees it has around the world were “significantly below expectations”. .

In France, employees will benefit from a bonus of at least 4,300 euros gross – 3,882 euros net – or 300 euros more than the bonus for 2022.

Stellantis also announced the payment of 4.2 billion euros in dividends to its shareholders.

Appearing last year at the top of the remuneration of the bosses of the CAC 40, ahead of the bosses of Dassault Systèmes or Teleperformance, Carlos Tavares had drawn the wrath of Emmanuel Macron who had judged in April “shocking and excessive” the amount ” astronomical” of his retribution.

The shareholder advisory firm Proxinvest had estimated his 2021 compensation and long-term bonuses at 66.7 million euros, smoothed over several years by Stellantis.

The remuneration of Carlos Tavares had even been rejected by the shareholders of Stellantis gathered in general assembly. But in the Netherlands, where the company is based, this vote was purely advisory, while in France it would have been binding.

Asked Friday on RTL, Mr. Tavares displayed his serenity, arguing that when the management of a company considered that a high salary was justified “it meant that the company was doing well”.

– 14.9 million –

In detail, Carlos Tavares has already received for last year 14.9 million euros in salaries, bonuses and retirement, or, according to the management of the group, 2.1 million euros less than the last year.

Most of its income (91%) is variable, subject to its performance, however, specifies Stellantis.

In addition to these 14.9 million euros, he could thus receive actions by 2026, the amount of which will be fixed according to the achievement of his objectives, financial, commercial or technological.

His total compensation could thus reach nearly 23.5 million for last year. He would thus receive each day the average annual salary of an employee of the group, 64,328 euros according to Stellantis.

This remuneration is “aligned with that of its European and American peers”, argued a spokesperson for the group on Saturday to AFP.

The American-Franco-Italian manufacturer also points out that the company has “increased the level of detail and transparency of the remuneration report” for its managers.

The 2022 report does indeed give more details on Mr. Tavares’ objectives.

In addition to bonuses linked to the rise in Stellantis shares or the drop in CO2 emissions, Mr. Tavares could in particular be entitled to a “transformation” bonus linked to the electric revolution in the automobile market.

This bonus could reach 25 million euros, with a payment in installments by 2025. The first objective, to exceed 15% of electric and hybrid sales on the European market, has largely been achieved.

Stellantis will also modify the conditions for the distribution of bonuses in shares for 1,600 of its managers, by subjecting them only to performance criteria. These new measures will be submitted to the vote of shareholders in April at their next general meeting.

© 2023 AFP

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