The French 2018 shareholders meetings season had its peak on Friday June 15 at Carrefour. the Board of this group, once the largest European retailer, introduced a new CEO Alexandre Bompard with the difficult mission to present to the vote a € 13 million golden handshake for its former Chairman & CEO Georges Plassat.
Plassat achievement was rather dissapointing as the company presented a net 500 million loss for 2017 and announced several thousand lay-offs. But still a prestigious Board including Bernard Arnault and Philippe Houzé plus two top class bankers, and now chaired by Bompard, had approved this real pay-for-failure package prepared by a remuneration committee chaired by former minister Thierry Breton…
A large unexpected bonus for satisfactory achievement was granted to Plassat and its € 518 000 yearly pension was even increased by a € 4 million non-compete indemnification.
The governance activist fund Phitrust advised by Proxinvest had first expressed a strong opposition, several unions protested as well; even the Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and the AFEP-Medep joined their voices.
Thierry Breton had not even dared to attend and defend the package… A final 68% vote supporting the package was reported, as many institutional shareholders relay on rather shallow analysis of European management pay.
Finally on June 16 Plassat announced that he would not accept the e€ 4 million non-compete indemnification. A demonstration of the merits of succesfully engaging local activists but also a demonstration of the poor companies supervision by investors wolldwide.
20. June 2018