Stellantis: shareholders vote against the remuneration of Carlos Tavares



Posted Apr 13, 2022, 6:48 PMUpdated on Apr 13, 2022 at 6:49 PM

The level of remuneration of the boss of Stellantis Carlos Tavares arouses disapproval which is not confined to certain politicians and trade unionists of the group. At the manufacturer’s general meeting held on Wednesday by videoconference, a majority of shareholders voted against the remuneration chapter of the 2021 annual report. A result which clearly surprised the chairman of the board John Elkann, when the figures displayed on the screen.

This document, which details on fifteen pages the remuneration of the main leaders of the group and the members of the board of directors, collected 52.1% of votes against. However, this will have no impact for those concerned: as John Elkann immediately pointed out, this vote is only advisory, Stellantis being a company under Dutch law.

Management “takes note”

In a press release, the group resulting from the merger between PSA and Fiat Chrysler slipped a sentence specifying that management “takes note” of this negative vote, “and will explain in the 2022 Compensation Report how this vote was taken into account. . The shareholders will therefore be able to judge… in February 2023.

If the vote concerned all the leaders, it is indeed the case of the emblematic boss Carlos Tavares who crystallizes the debate. The last question asked remotely related to the amount of the total remuneration of the Portuguese boss at PSA in 2020, information which has not so far been made public. With a hint of embarrassment, a representative of Stellantis indicated that this figure would not be revealed, the context of the health crisis not lending itself, according to him, to comparisons.

According to documents published at the end of February by Stellantis, Carlos Tavares received 19 million euros last year, including 2 million in fixed salary, 1.7 million in bonus following the success of the merger with Stellantis, and 13 million in variable remuneration linked to the excellent results of the group (the manufacturer generated a record net profit of 13 billion euros last year). Salary levels that correspond to American standards, much higher than those practiced in Europe.

Added to this is the possibility of receiving in the longer term 50 million euros if a series of objectives are achieved by 2025, as well as shares with a book value of 32 million euros on the date of distribution, which will be received in 2024 or 2026. A large part of this distribution is conditional on a strong increase in the share price.

Very critical unions

These various levers led the management company Phitrust to assert that Carlos Tavares had received a total of 66 million euros. False, replies the company: the payment of such a sum is “hypothetical”, will only materialize if all the performance criteria are met, and will last until 2028.

Despite the group’s very good results, the jump in Carlos Tavares’ compensation in two years (he had earned 7.6 million euros at PSA in 2019) earned him a salvo of criticism from unions, when he asked employees to redouble their efforts to cash in on the switch to electric.

The BPI voted against

The subject was also invited in the presidential election. Marine Le Pen ruled on Wednesday that such a level of remuneration was “shocking”. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal pointed out to him at midday that “it is a private company, and it is ultimately the shareholders who decide and who vote”.

At the end of the AGM, Bpifrance, which holds some 6% of the capital of Stellantis and a seat on the board of directors in the name of the French State, however indicated in a press release that it had no approved the remuneration of Carlos Tavares during the AGM, neither for 2021 nor for 2022.

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