Warning, sensitive subject. The 2022 vintage of the remuneration of major French bosses, produced each year by Proxinvest, a shareholder advisory firm, sees the same trio as last year climb onto the podium but in a different order.
Number One in 2021, with total remuneration of 66.7 million euros, Carlos Tavares, general director of Stellantis (Peugeot-Citroën-Fiat-Chrysler) lost two places, to occupy third place in the ranking (19.6 million euros). In second position — third in 2021 — we find Daniel Julien, the discreet boss of Teleperformance, a call center and social media moderator company, who earned 19.7 million euros. Finally at the head of the 2022 ranking, with 33 million euros received, Bernard Charlès, who has led Dassault Systèmes for 28 years and will hand over the operational management of the software publisher next year.
An “illusory” decline compared to 2021
A 2022 vintage marked, over one year, by a 15% reduction in the remuneration of managers of CAC 40 companies – according to its composition as of June 30, 2023. A reduction however described as “illusory” by Jehanne Leroy who carried out the report. And for good reason, 2021 had been an exceptional yeardriven by the extraordinary remuneration of Carlos Tavares of 66.7 million euros according to Proxinvest (19.15 million euros had insured, at the time, the Stellantis company).
Made public in April 2022, during the Stellantis general meeting, this remuneration had created a certain stir. “Shocking and excessive”, denounced Emmanuel Macron, campaigning for his re-election, adding that “we must lead the fight in Europe so that we have remuneration which cannot be abusive”. A remuneration which had created all the more controversy as the general assembly had rejected it, before the board of directors approved it. Based in the Netherlands, Stellantis escapes the Sapin II law (2016) and the recommendations of the AFEP-Medef code to conduct its remuneration policy.
“Only” 72 times in 2014
Finally, a CAC 40 manager earned, on average, 89 times more than his employees in 2022. A figure significantly down compared to the 110 times in 2021, but which constitutes the highest compared to other years. So, in 2014, the ratio was “only” 72 times. To produce its report, Proxinvest adds up all forms of executive remuneration and in particular the fixed, annual bonus, tokens, benefits in kind, stock options or even free performance shares valued on their date of attribution.
For the consulting firm, which prefers to take the year 2019 as a reference, considered more representative than 2021 and 2020, where the pandemic had encouraged certain managers to give up part of their income, the average remuneration increases by 29% for bosses of the CAC 40.
On the expanded SBF 120 index, which brings together the 120 largest companies listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, including that of the CAC 40, the trend is the same, with a drop of 6% over one year, or 4.2 million euros of average remuneration. But an increase of 14% compared to 2019. “Except for 2021, this is the highest increase since Proxinvest carried out this study,” assures Jehanne Leroy. Since 2014, the remuneration of bosses (+ 62%) has increased twice as fast as that of employees (+ 31%).