A non-binding but closely scrutinized vote: the shareholders of Stellantis, meeting in a general meeting on Tuesday April 16, validated with 70.2% of the votes the remuneration of the group’s general director, which could reach 36.5 million euros for the year 2023, according to the company’s annual financial report, compared to 23.5 million euros in 2022 and 19 million euros in 2021.

The increase in his remuneration is notably linked to the payment of a bonus of 10 million euros for the “transformation” of the group created in 2021 with the merger of PSA and Fiat-Chrysler. The remuneration of Mr. Tavares, 65, includes retirement pensions which will be paid over the long term, but also bonuses awarded only if he achieves the objectives set for 2025, the last year of his current mandate at the head of the manufacturer .

For the 2023 financial year, Mr. Tavares will initially receive 23.5 million euros. Paid largely in shares, this remuneration also increases with the value of the group’s stock, which has almost doubled over the past three years. Unlike what would have happened if Stellantis’ head office was located in France, the shareholder vote will be purely consultative, the company being governed by Dutch law.

Traveling on Monday to the Trémery factory (Moselle), Mr. Tavares assumed this remuneration, “a contractual dimension between the company and me as for a football player and a Formula 1 driver”. “Ninety percent of my salary is made by the company’s results, (…) so this proves that the company’s results are apparently not too bad,” reacted Mr. Tavares at the microphone of France Bleu Lorraine Nord, adding: “If you think this is not acceptable, make a law and change the law and I will respect it. »

In the process, the president of the socialist group in the National Assembly, Boris Vallaud, announced on his X account that he intended to resubmit a bill aimed at limiting income gaps in businesses. The text, tabled for the first time in 2020, also calls on the government to submit a report to Parliament to “assess the need for a change in European legislation relating to transparency and the regulation of pay gaps within companies whose the head office is located in one of the Member States of the European Union”, as is the case for Stellantis. “We can agree with Mr. Tavares on one point: it is the policy that will be able to set a decent limit to income gaps,” said Mr. Vallaud.

“Shocking and scandalous” for the CGT

With its 14 brands including Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Dodge and Opel, Stellantis published on February 15 a new record profit of 18.6 billion euros for 2023, up 11% year-on-year. Its turnover is close to 190 billion euros.

Several investor advisory firms have nevertheless recommended voting against this year, including the American agency Glass Lewis, which expressed “serious reservations”. “The remuneration is excessive even in this context,” also said ISS (for International Shareholder Services), in a note that Le Monde consulted.

For its part, the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) of Stellantis decried a “totally shocking and scandalous” salary equivalent to 100,000 euros per day, “an increase of almost 50%, when most of us had only 3.7%, and struggling to finish the month.” The major automotive group announced on February 15 that it would redistribute nearly 1.9 billion euros to its employees around the world. In France, this represents a minimum of 4,100 euros for the lowest salaries – compared to 4,300 in 2023, despite higher profits this year at Stellantis. The group’s shareholders will receive, for their part, around 7.7 billion euros for the 2023 financial year, between dividends and a share buyback program.

The remuneration of the general director had already been criticized in 2022, in particular by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who judged, between the two rounds of the presidential election, the “astronomical” amount of his remuneration to be “shocking and excessive”. . Stellantis argues that this remuneration should rather be compared with that of multinationals like Boeing in the United States (Dave Calhoun, $33 million for 2023). The group, in fact, makes the majority of its sales in Europe, but draws most of its profits from the American market.