Salaries of major bosses: recurrent polemics in France


Barely noticeable, General Manager of Air France-KLM Benjamin Smith saw the amount of his compensation criticized, a new example of the polemic that was regularly awakened by the salaries of big bosses in France.

Generous wage increases, extraordinary bonuses, advantageous stock option plans (purchase orders for shares on favorable terms), strong redundancy schemes ("golden parachutes") or welcome bonus: a reminder of the main controversies of recent years.

Air France-KLM

According to various media, the total remuneration of Mr. Smith, including his fixed, variable and deferred bonuses, has tripled compared to Mr. Janaillac, more than 3 million euros per year. In 2017, the fixed salary of Mr. Janaillac amounted to 600,000 euros.

If the airline, shaken in the spring by a strike to get a reassessment of the salaries of employees, did not want to comment on these elements, they did not respond, UDI Member of Parliament Bertrand Pancher considered the amount "regrettable was for the image of the company for its employees and the French in general ".


In June 2018, the former boss of Carrefour Georges Plassat waives a severance pay of almost 4 million euros, under pressure from the government after the indignation of the trade unions, and given the setbacks of the French distribution group.

The shareholders of the group have approved 68% of Plassat's remuneration of € 13.17 million in 2017, including severance payments in the form of a non-competition clause. 19659004] Transition to f to Renault

On 29 April 2016, the general meeting of shareholders of Renault with 54% of the votes rejects the level of the remuneration of the CEO Carlos Ghosn who has been fixed for the 2015 financial year to a total of 7.25 million euros, an increase of 0.49% compared to 2014.

But this vote is only an advice and the board of the group endorses the salary of its boss on the basis of the "quality of the results of the year 2015 "

In February 2018, Mr. Ghosn agreed to reduce his remuneration by 30%, a condition that the state imposes to support its extension for a further four-year term.

Doubling at PSA

On March 29, 2016, the AVA of the PSA automotive group (Peugeot, Citroën brands …) approved 76.53% of the quasi-doubling of the president's salary, Carlos Tavares, up to 5.24 million, thanks to a variable part, stimulated by the spectacular recovery of the group.

The turnout causes one Among the unions, while the then Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, believes that Mr. Tavares is "wrong to ignore the sensitivity of the French to this issue."

Golden Parachute to Alcatel- Lucent

In August 2015 Michel Combes was offered a parachute of 14 million euros over three years by the manufacturer of telecommunications equipment Alcatel-Lucent on the occasion of his departure to the management of Numéricable-SFR [19659006]] After several days of controversy, and under the joint pressure of the employers, the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and the government, Alcatel-Lucent decided to reduce the premium by almost half.

Sanofi welcome bonus

In February 2015, trade unions and small shareholders opposed the welcome bonus of 4 million euros received by the new managing director, Olivier Brandicourt, as compensation for the benefits he left behind by leaving his previous employer , the German group Bayer

To this amount nearly three million euros have been added that Sanofi paid to his predecessor, Chris Viehbacher, as compensation after his expulsion. Spokesman for the Manuel Valls government, Stéphane Le Foll, assesses these practices as "incomprehensible".

Pension hat for PSA

The term "pension hat" refers to disparate payments that are most often paid to top-level managers after they leave the company.

In November 2013, PSA's departing boss, Philippe Varin, waives the EUR 21 million the manufacturer expects for his retirement against the avalanche of criticism, while he & # 39; is preparing to transfer the management of the troubled car group

It will still end in the touching of a hat pension of almost 300,000 euros, the site will reveal in May 2015.

Stock Options at Société Générale

In March 2009, the bank announces that its four main executives will receive a total of 320,000 stock options for the 2008 financial year.

The announcement caused a tumult if the Société Générale benefited from state aid to finance the crisis. The leaders give these stock options, under pressure from the government of François Fillon, who is threatening legislation on the subject.

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