DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

French gov't has done Varin a big favor

Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
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The uproar over departing PSA CEO Philippe Varin's pension package will benefit the executive in the long run.

Unlike most of his counterparts at France's top companies, Varin won't get a severance payment when he leaves the group. He hasn't taken a bonus since 2011, and PSA officials say his pension arrangements were modest compared with other French corporations.

All this will be taken into consideration when Varin's new package is created after a review by the corporate governance advisory body in the French employers' organization.

That board is going to have to look at how other CEOs in France were compensated under similar circumstance. Therefore, it's a safe bet that Varin will get the same amount he just renounced – if not even more.

The most confusing part about all this opera is that the supposedly mortified French government ministers just screamed their way out of millions.

The ministers said Varin, 61, stood to make an "inappropriate" 7.75 million euros over 25 years starting when he turned 65.

But the state was in line to get 13.25 million euros over the same period for taxes and social security contributions.

If Varin's payout is considered "inappropriate," what can be said about the state's take?

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@autonews.com.

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