This is news that is unlikely to calm the social backlash in France. TotalEnergies’ board of directors said on Thursday that it will offer a 10 percent pay increase to its CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, at the May 26 general meeting of shareholders.
According to the group’s press release convening this general meeting, the board will make a proposal providing that “it is proposed to increase compensation and share allocation for 2023 by 10% compared to 2022.” This is “an increase equivalent to that which, on average, the leaders of the general social base in France received,” the group specified. The total CEO remuneration in 2022 has yet to be disclosed.
In 2021, Patrick Pouyanne’s compensation increased by 51.7% to €5,944,129, the amount that caused controversy last fall at the height of a wage dispute at the group’s refineries. This increase followed a 36.4% drop in his wages in 2020 as a result of wage cuts that were then presented as “voluntary” during the health crisis and a reduction in the variable portion of his wages that year associated with group results. In 2019, a year before the pandemic, it amounted to 6.15 million euros.
“It is not I who set the compensation, but the Board of Directors of TotalEnergies who sets it, and the shareholders who approve it – it is certainly high, but comparable to my colleagues in CAC 40 and much lower than other European majors. [ne] c and american [e] s” of the petrochemical sector, defended the CEO on Twitter.
The increase mentioned this Thursday comes, on the one hand, from a salary increase of 10%, with a variable part – a fixed remuneration of 1.5 million euros unchanged; and, on the other hand, a 10 percent increase in performance shares, a source at TotalEnergies said.
Team leaders receive a 7.5% salary increase, a 15% variable part and bonuses, or an average of almost 10%, the company said. The group stated that the budget for the number of performance shares allocated to non-executive managers is also increased by 10%.