Renault will have to pay a huge sum of money for Thierry Bolloré. The automaker's board of directors announced on Tuesday (November 12th) that the former managing director of the French automaker would receive “performance shares” after being ousted in October, for a maximum amount of around 2.4 million euros. euros at the current rate according to an AFP calculation.
As a reminder, Thierry Bolloré was removed from office on October 11, officially to give “a new breath” to the alliance with the Japanese manufacturer Nissan. Sources close to the company, however, had raised management and performance issues. In a statement, the board of directors said that Renault had entered into a “transactional agreement” with its former CEO.
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This agreement provides that Thierry Bolloré will benefit from the maintenance of his performance shares in respect of 2017 and 2018, whereas they were normally lost because they were subject to a condition of presence in the company three years after their allocation. Thus, as compensation for his eviction, he would receive a maximum of 52,509 shares “if all the performance criteria were reached to the maximum”. The actual amount will be known next year. With a Renault action close to 46 euros at the closing price of the Paris Stock Exchange on Tuesday night, the amount would represent up to 2.4 million euros.
Mansuetude of the board of directors?
However, Thierry Bolloré will not receive any compensation related to his “non-competition clause”, the board of directors having decided not to activate it. Thus, the former general manager will be able to work immediately for a competing group. “The board showed a certain leniency with respect to free share awards,” said Charles Pinel, a partner at Proxinvest, a shareholder advisory firm.
But the latter finds “a little surprising” the non-activation of the non-competition clause, given the risk of seeing Thierry Bolloré go to a rival group with all the knowledge of Renault he has. Renault's board of directors had tried to convince Bolloré to resign on October 11, but the latter refused, denouncing “a coup de force”, an extremely rare event in the business community where the departure of senior executives, even forced, usually take the form of a resignation against negotiated compensation.
900,000 euros of fixed salary for his successor
Pending the recruitment of a replacement, the financial director Clotilde Delbos has been appointed to act as interim. Its annual compensation has been aligned for this period with that of Thierry Bolloré, ie 900,000 euros of fixed and up to 125% of this amount in variable.