MILAN (Reuters) – Stellantis shareholders approved remuneration for the carmaker’s top executives on Tuesday, including a package of up to 36.5 million euros for the group’s chief executive, Carlos Tavares.

Tavares’ total compensation increased by 56% in 2023 compared to 2022.

The increase has drawn criticism at a time when the French-Italian automaker is seeking to reduce costs and labor in countries including France, Italy and the United States as part of its transition to electric vehicles.

Speaking at an event in France on Monday, the Portuguese chief executive defended his remuneration, saying it was part of a contract between him and the group, “like for a football player and a Formula 1 driver “.

Around 70% of the shareholders of the world’s fourth-largest automaker voted at the general meeting on Tuesday in favor of the report on senior executive remuneration for 2023.

Carlos Tavares’ remuneration package includes €13 million in long-term incentives linked to specific performance targets, which may therefore not be achieved and paid in full.

Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis had both recommended that shareholders vote against the CEO’s remuneration.

At the start of the year, the automaker agreed with Italian unions on voluntary departure plans for around 3,000 workers, or around 7.5% of its workforce in the country.

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari in Milan; with contributions from Dominique Patton in Paris; Diana Mandiá, editing by Tangi Salaün)

Copyright © 2024 Thomson Reuters