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

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".

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

“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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Beckham ‘to hand salary’ to children’s hospital

Paris Saint-Germain's David Beckham will donate around half a million euros to a children's hospital in Paris, French media reported on Tuesday. It comes after he pledged to donate his salary to good causes, when he joined the club in January.

Beckham 'to hand salary' to children's hospital
Photo: AFP

Wealthy footballer David Beckham will hand over part of of his whopping PSG salary to a children's hospital in Paris, French daily Le Parisien claimed on Tuesday.

The Necker hospital in the 15th arrondissement of the French capital, which specializes in rare diseases is set to benefit to the tune of around €500,000, Le Parisien claimed.

When Beckham joined the mega-wealthy Qatari-owned club in January, he put charities across France on alert by promising to donate his entire wages to good causes.

The club was inundated with requests from associations and organizations across the country, including a penniless nursery in Nancy, that will close without financial aid.

Since then, however, there has been little news about which charities are to benefit from Beckham’s reported €800,000 monthly wages.

The donation to the hospital, which already has strong links with PSG, will be carried out through the club's charitable foundation, whose president is Nasser al Khelaifa, the club's Qatari chief.

According to Le Parisien, another as yet unnamed children's charity in France is also set to benefit from a major slice of Beckham's salary.

Following Beckham's charity pledge, suspicions were raised in the French media that the club were simply making the donations in a bid to avoid paying tax on the player's wages. PSG have so far refused to comment on these claims.

Details have not yet been released.