Macron in heated debate over executive pay
The French President called the executive salary of the head of Stellantis carmaker Friday "shocking and excessive."
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron jumped into a heated discussion about executive compensation, calling the $21-million salary of Stellantis' CEO "shocking and excessive."
Macron, who is running against far-right leader Marine Le Pen for president on April 24, told Franceinfo radio that he supports an EU-wide salary cap for top CEOs.
"We need to fight at a European level so that remuneration can't be excessive," Macron said, adding that if ceilings are not set in Europe, "society will explode at any given moment."
The President elaborated that "people can't be facing purchasing power problems... and then see these sorts of sums."
The 19-million-euro compensation package for Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares for last year, when French company PSA combined with Italian-US competitor Fiat Chrysler to establish Stellantis, the world's fourth-largest automaker, is presently under scrutiny.
Tavares will get 7.5 million euros in performance-based compensation, 2.4 million euros in retirement contributions, and a 1.7 million-euro incentive dependent on the merger's success, in addition to his regular income of two million euros.
According to Stellantis, Tavares will also receive 5.6 million euros worth of company shares.
Macron called the amounts "astronomic", adding, "We need to do what we've done with minimum tax rates and the fight against tax evasion. We need to convince our European partners to bring about a reform that will provide a framework for executive pay."
Le Pen, who will face Macron in the second and final round of the presidential election on April 24, has been brought into the argument as well.
"It's shocking but less shocking than for others," she said, adding, "For once he obtained good result."