French government to cap 'fat cat' bonuses after Airbus chief's €37m package

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French government to cap 'fat cat' bonuses after Airbus chief's €37m package
Airbus chief executive Tom Enders. Photo: AFP

The French government plans to cap executive "golden handshakes" at 30 per cent of their salary, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday, calling the multi-million-euro exit package planned for Airbus boss Tom Enders "excessive".


"I will limit the amount of bosses' golden handshakes to 30 per cent of their salary," Le Maire told the BFM news channel, adding: "It will be written in stone in the law."

READ ALSO French PM wants limit on 'fat cat' pay

On Tuesday, it emerged that the chief executive of European aerospace giant Airbus stands to receive a nearly €37 million severance package when he steps down next week, according to calculations by an investor advisory firm.

Airbus acknowledged the "soundness" of the calculations made by analysts Proxinvest, which were based on financial filings under German CEO Enders.

"These amounts are excessive and belong in the past," Le Maire said, announcing plans to limit them in a bill currently before parliament.

According to Proxinvest, Enders will receive a total of €26.3 million in retirement pay over the next 20 years, along with stock and performance bonuses valued at €7.3 million.

He will also benefit from a one-year non-compete clause worth €3.2 million, bringing the total to €36.8 million.

The huge exit packages paid to the departing bosses of big companies and executive pay have long been controversial subjects in France and other Western countries.

France's previous Socialist government had introduced a non-binding code of conduct for companies which recommended that they cap the exit packages at 45 per cent of the executive's salary.

Le Maire said legislation was needed "because clearly good practises are not enough".

The French state owns an 11 per cent stake in Airbus, while Germany has 11 per cent and Spain 4.2 per cent.



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