Carlos TavaresCarlos Tavares


Macron and Le Pen unite in condemnation of Stellantis boss’s ‘shocking’ multi-million pay package

  • CEO Carlos Tavares’s total monetary package for 2021 stands at some £63.1m
  • Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen round on boss as they fight for French presidency
  • Shareholders rejected last year’s compensation package for its top execs
  • It’ll still go through, though, as the vote is only a recommendation
  • Stellantis announces suspension of vehicle production in Russia

Time 10:27 am, April 19, 2022

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares has united French presidential election rivals Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen – with the duo condemning the CEO’s ‘shocking’ pay package.

Tavares’s 2021 compensation package totalled some €19m (circa £15.8m). In addition, he had a stock package worth an extra €32m (£26.6m) plus long-term compensation of circa €25m (£20.7m), according to Reuters.

Last Wednesday (Apr 13) at their annual meeting, shareholders of the multinational automotive manufacturing corporation’s voted by 52 per cent to reject the 2021 compensation package for the top execs including Tavares.

The vote is only consultative, though, and the remuneration for 2021 will still take place, Reuters quoted a source as telling it.

Stellantis chairman John Elkann said it would take into account the vote, which he described as a recommendation.

But he was also quoted as telling shareholders: ‘It is our conviction as a board that in a meritocracy, rewarding on the basis of performance criteria is a fundamental element of our policy.’

Tavares, pictured above, became executive director and chief executive of Stellantis on January 17, 2021.

Before that, the 63-year-old was chairman of the managing board of Groupe PSA from March 31, 2014, having joined the board on January 1 that year.

Stellantis was formed by the merger of Groupe PSA and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, with the deal completed on January 16, 2021.

It reported an adjusted operating profit margin of 11.8 per cent for 2021, which was above target.

With the run-off between current French president Macron and his far-right challenger Le Pen set to take place on April 24, Macron went on radio network France Info to say: ‘We’re talking about astronomical sums here … we should put a cap on these. This could work if we act at a European level.’

Carlos Tavares, left, and John Elkann

Carlos Tavares, left, and John Elkann

He added: ‘People can’t have purchasing power problems, difficulties and anxiety in their lives and see sums like this,’ and warned that society would ‘blow up’ otherwise, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Le Pen told BFM TV: ‘Of course it is shocking. It’s even more shocking when it’s a CEO who has put the company in difficulty and gets considerable sums,’ reported Reuters.

She suggested that one way of offsetting such high pay would be to develop staff shareholdings.

In response, Stellantis said it didn’t comment on politicians’ views, adding that under the leadership of Tavares it had gone from being almost bankrupt to take a leading position.

A company spokesperson said staff had been paid as much as its shareholders – with the figure said to be €1.9bn (£1.6bn) – and emphasised that Tavares’s pay was not only lower than at GM and Ford but also 90 per cent variable, depending on how the company performed.

Get more from Car Dealer

  • Premium stories
  • Used car data
  • Magazine early access

Their comments were followed by Stellantis announcing today (Apr 19) that it was suspending vehicle production in Russia.

In a short statement from its Amsterdam HQ, it said: ‘Given the rapid daily increase in cross sanctions and logistical difficulties, Stellantis has suspended its manufacturing operations in Kaluga to ensure full compliance with all cross sanctions and to protect its employees.’

It added: ‘Stellantis condemns violence and supports all actions capable of restoring peace.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

More stories...

Server 190