Last year, the then president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, saw in Carlos Tavares the “Mbappé of automobiles”. Today, the boss of Stellantis compares himself to a footballer to defend his remuneration, which could reach 36.5 million euros for 2023, and on which the shareholders of the automobile group must vote this Tuesday during their general assembly. “First of all, it is a contractual dimension between the company and me. As for a football player and a Formula 1 driver. It is a contractual dimension, there is a contract,” reacted Monday the boss of Portuguese origin of the world number four automobile manufacturer, during a visit from the Trémery factory (Moselle), north of Metz.

Carlos Tavares also stressed that “90% of (his) salary” depended on Stellantis’ results. “It proves that the company’s results are apparently not too bad. On these criteria, if you have the performance of my competitors, the salary would have been much lower,” he estimated. With its brands Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Jeep and even Dodge, the group born from the merger between PSA and Fiat Chrysler recorded a new record profit of 18.6 billion euros in 2023, up 11% over one year. . “Under the leadership of Carlos Tavares, the company achieved one of the best performances in the automotive industry with a margin of 12.8% in 2023,” Stellantis also points out.

The 65-year-old businessman, former right-hand man of Carlos Ghosn at Renault, also judges that, behind this new debate on his remuneration – she had already been under fire from criticism in 2022, even being singled out by President Emmanuel Macron – there is “a societal dimension”. “If you think it’s not acceptable, make a law and change the law. And I will respect it,” he replied.

Today, only the remuneration of directors of public companies is capped in France. And if, for listed companies, there is the “say on pay” system, that is to say a binding vote by shareholders on executive remuneration. However, this does not apply to Stellantis, which has its head office not in France, but in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam. However, on Monday, Carlos Tavares assured that he would react “democratically” to the shareholder vote scheduled for Tuesday.