A big payoff for Thierry Morin, the outgoing boss of French car parts supplier Valeo, has provoked an angry reaction.
Morin is set to get a 3.2 million euros “golden parachute” as he quits after disagreeing with his board over company strategy. The payoff comes as his company is receiving state aid and preparing to cut jobs. Union leader Denis Bréant said: “It is absolutely shocking. Workers whose wages are being cut by 200 to 300 euros a month don’t understand, they’re angry. The Industry Minister Luc Chatel talks about making every effort to prevent Mr Morin from getting this money; but perhaps he should change the law to stop boards of directors granting such large amounts to big company bosses.” Speaking on French TV, the Budget Minister Eric Woerth called on Morin to refuse the money. He called the bonus “a provocation,” and added: “When there are companies that constantly laying people off, it’s obviously very improper, indecent, abnormal to take a sum like this on leaving a company, regardless of how well he did his job.” MEDEF, the French employers association, also strongly criticised the payoff. The bonus now has to be approved by Valeo’s shareholders at their annual meeting. The French government- which has a more than eight percent stake – has said it will vote against.