French Govt Opposes Payout For Ex-Air France CEO

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Published: May 30, 2012

France’s new Socialist government opposes a EUR€400,000 indemnity payment for former chief executive of Air France-KLM, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, as it seeks to clamp down on executive pay, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday.

A representative of the French state, which holds a 15.9 percent stake in the loss-making Franco-Dutch carrier, will not vote in favour of Gourgeon’s payout at a shareholders meeting on Thursday, the minister said in a statement.

“The indemnities and bonuses paid to the former chief executive of Air France-KLM, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, and approved by the previous government, are not in agreement with the rules of wage moderation and decent behaviour announced by the president,” the statement said.

The minister said the government would announce measures shortly to govern executive pay. France’s new Socialist President, Francois Hollande, who took office this month, has pledged to limit the pay of top executives at publicly controlled companies to 20 times the minimum wage.

Air France-KLM shares are down around 12 percent this year after losing 71 percent last year, giving it a market value of around EUR€1 billion (USD$ 1.25 billion).

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