The French Are Still Mad About Carlos Tavares’ Pay

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In France, where they care about things like “inequality,” there is about to be a presidential election. The incumbent, Emmanuel Macron, is facing off against Marine Le Pen, a ghost of the far-right past. They disagree on many things but apparently both agree that Stellantis’ CEO Carlos Tavares is paid way too much.


Tavares’ pay has been under scrutiny for days now, perhaps because he leads Stellantis, the most dinosaur-ish of the Big Three, though it’s more like the Big Two-And-A-Half now, since that includes GM and Ford and Stellantis but Stellantis is lots of French and Italian marques, too.

Anyway, Tavares made $20.5 million last year, according to Reuters, plus another $34 million in stock, plus another $25 million in “long-term compensation,” all of which has been determined to be too much by France’s leading presidential candidates a week-and-a-half ahead of the election.

“We’re talking about astronomical sums here … we should put a cap on these, this could work if we act at a European level,” Macron told franceinfo radio.

“People can’t have purchasing power problems, difficulties and anxiety in their lives and see sums like this,” Macron said, adding that otherwise “society going to blow up”.

Le Pen echoed his comments.

“Of course it is shocking. It’s even more shocking when it’s a CEO who has put the company in difficulty and gets considerable sums,” she told BFM television, suggesting one way to offset such remuneration was to develop staff shareholdings.

The company said in a statement that it does not comment on politicians’ positions and said the group had gone from near bankruptcy to a leading position under Tavares’ leadership.

In America, this is akin to if Joe Biden and Donald Trump both released statements saying that Elon Musk is entirely too rich, which of course will never happen because the point of America is to get rich. Different world, that Europe.

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