Renault board maintains Ghosn’s 2015 pay despite shareholder revolt

Carlos Ghosn laughing all the way to the bank
Carlos Ghosn laughing all the way to the bank

Renault's board stuck by its decision to pay Carlos Ghosn 7.2 million euros ($8.2 million) for 2015 in defiance of a non-binding shareholder vote against the chief executive's package on Friday.

Shareholders representing 54 percent of voting rights at the French carmaker opposed Ghosn's pay package at its annual meeting.

In a hastily convened session after the gathering, Renault said its board decided to maintain Ghosn's payout, which includes 1.23 million euros in fixed salary, 1.78 million in variable pay and a further 4.18 million in deferred bonuses and stock.

"The board once again acknowledges the quality of 2015 results," the company said in a statement. However, it added the remunerations committee had been asked to review pay structures for 2016 and beyond.

In past years, Ghosn, who also heads Japanese alliance partner Nissan, has drawn regular criticism from the French state, Renault's biggest shareholder, over his pay levels. The government commands more than 18 percent of voting rights in Renault.

Before the consultative vote, Ghosn was publicly taken to task on Friday by a representative of shareholder advisory firm Proxinvest, which had recommended that investors reject the CEO's pay package.

"The board does not decide (on pay) on the basis of caprice," Ghosn told shareholders at the meeting. "It is the board acting on your delegated authority that decides who runs the company and the remuneration that matches their efforts and talents." AutoNews

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