Stellantis boss’ compensation challenged by minority shareholders



It may growl … through interposed screens. The general assembly of the car manufacturer Stellantis, which is to be held virtually this Wednesday, April 13, cringes the management company Phitrust, a minority shareholder, which disputes the level of remuneration planned for the group’s general manager, Carlos Tavares .

“Shocking” amounts

The amounts are “shocking”reports Denis Branche, head of Phitrust, who took out his calculator. “To a fixed amount of 2 million euros per year is added variable compensation, amounting to more than 7.5 million eurosexplains the leader. That the variable part corresponds to a multiple of 3.8 of the fixed one is already excessive. » While this first part of the remuneration allows the manager to exceed 9.5 million euros in annual income, a second part propels the total remuneration to dizzying amounts.

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The CEO of Stellantis has been awarded a free share plan worth 32 million euros, supposed to reward the success of the transformation plan of Stellantis. Finally, a last component of long-term compensation, payable in cash this time, adds an envelope of 25 million euros (limited to a maximum of 50 million euros).

Flammable subject

“Adding it all up, we arrive at a sum of 66 million euros.believes Denis Branche. I find this deplorable, because such remuneration kills the system. Carlos Tavares is only a manager and takes no risks: he does not create the cars, nor even the value. » The leader of Phitrust recalls that if the share price of Stellantis has increased, it “stay low”and that the ratio of the share price to net earnings per share, “which is only three, remains very weak” also.

Recalling that he does “no politics”, Denis Branche concedes that the context between the two rounds of the presidential election could make the subject inflammable. On the ground, the success of the group’s transformation plan born of the merger between PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could go through staff reductions on overcapacity sites, the Italian units being more affected than their French counterparts.

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“Even before the birth of Stellantis, we sensed that the governance of the group would pose difficulties, with a presidency ensured by John Elkann”, recalls Denis Branche. At the top of the group is indeed this heir to the Agnelli family, owner of the reputedly expensive Fiat group.: the family of Sergio Marchionne, the former general manager of Fiat who died suddenly on July 25, 2018, would still have received several tens of millions of euros in 2021.

The challenge could win other groups

“While Airbus is holding its physical general meeting in Amsterdam this Tuesday, April 12, the virtual mode of that of Stellantis – yet in the same city – makes it difficult to challengegrumbles Denis Branche. Even if the compensation should be voted, we want to take this opportunity to alert Bercy, public opinion, other small shareholders and “proxys”. » The latter term refers to voting advisory agencies, including ISS.

This agency has just recommended to the shareholders of the insurer AXA to oppose the proposed remuneration of its managing director, Thomas Buberl, during the general meeting of the company, scheduled for April 28. The executive’s fixed annual salary, if approved, would increase from €1.45 million to €1.65 million, an increase of 14%, and his variable compensation from €1.45 million to €1.75 million. euros.

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